New Army Chief Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, in his message on assumption of office as the 23rd Commander of the Army, has vowed to protect the country from all threats.
Excerpts of his message are as follows:
“It is my prioritized and prime duty to give leadership to the Army as the Commander of the Army to defend our motherland’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and the unitary status. Secondly, it is my duty to ensure security to all the people in the country with all necessary security measures intact, and thirdly I wish to state here at this moment with responsibility that I intend to improve your welfare and family members of all War Heroes.
Any Army in the world is committed to protect the inalienable rights of the country’s citizens and create a conducive atmosphere for democratic way of life while being alert to adopt any measures against internal or external threats with determination. During past humanitarian operations, we adhered to those guidelines, acceptable to any State and acted in keeping with international humanitarian laws and rights, I must recall at this juncture.
During the wartime, all of us after rescuing the general public from the clutches of terrorism who had been taken on hostage proved to the whole world, by example how humanitarian we were, and it is this practice that should be sustained among Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and Malay brethren as members of one family, strengthening bonds of co-existence, reconciliation and brotherhood while ensuring their right to life.
In future, I wish to groom a matured and efficient Army through constant training, enabling them to face any challenge. Similarly, it is our responsibility to protect the reputation and confidence of the Sri Lanka Army which is not at all second to any of the armies in the world. My special attention would focus on grooming Army personnel who would be equipped with technical know-how that matches with modern and global standards.
Likewise, I intend to reorganize military intelligence units and raise them to an elevated level in keeping with strategies of international armies while simultaneously sharing their experience and practices,” he noted.
In his message, the Commander further assured that he would enhance capacity of all Army personnel while giving them necessary military and administrative knowledge in future to be in line with international armies.
He also paid tribute to President Maithripala Sirisena, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for vesting responsibility in him to lead the Army. He also gratefully acknowledged the support of his Gajaba Regiment mentors including General Wijaya Wimalaratne, founding father of the GR and all the successive Commanders of the Army up until today.