Written by Zulfick Farzan
01 Jan, 2021 | 11:24 am
Colombo (Sri Lanka Army); In his address to a representative group of Senior Officers soon after General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army was felicitated at the Army HQ on Thursday (31) upon his new advancement in rank, he assured that he would discharge the duties in the capacity of Chief of Defence Staff and especially as the Commander of the Army in the year 2021 too and drive the tri forces to the victory and nothing but the victory of the Mother Sri Lanka.
“My profound gratitude goes to the President, Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, firstly, for being the saviour of my life at one time when I was critically injured in the Operation Wadamarachchi, where he himself attended in Heli-lifting me under the heavy thrust, and amidst rains of LTTE’s offensive fire on 06 June 1987. Secondly, for being a leader, superior, mentor and an advisor of my life throughout my military career, and thirdly, recognizing me in the rank of 4 Star General, trusting on my ability, competency and capacity to spearhead the Tri Forces for the ardent task of saving the mother Sri Lanka and building the security and prosperity for the people of this country”
Excerpts of his speech at the occasion are as follows:
“It is really an honour for me to be here today, and I wish I could begin to describe the incredible feelings of gratitude, humility, and love that are absolutely consuming me at this very moment. At the onset in this delightful day of my life, let me pay my profound gratitude to His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, firstly, for being the saviour of my life at one time when I was critically injured in the Operation Wadamarachchi, where he himself attended in Heli-lifting me under the heavy thrust, and amidst the rains of offensive fire of the LTTE on 06 June 1987. Secondly, for being a leader, superior, mentor and an advisor of my life throughout my military career and thirdly, recognizing me in the rank of 4 Star General, trusting on my ability, competency and capacity to spearhead the Tri Forces for the ardent task of saving the mother Sri Lanka and building the security and prosperity for the people of this country.
Also, I once again pay my sincere appreciation to His Excellency the President, the Honourable Prime Minister and the Government of Sri Lanka and the Secretary of Defence for having the trust on me to be the Head of National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID 19 Outbreak, where I have been once again entrusted to save the whole nation from deadly Corona virus.
An occasion like this is a time for thanks and a time for reflection, thanks to the countless individuals who made the last 37 years of my service so wonderful, so rewarding and so memorable for me and reflection on the extraordinary privilege of serving during a time of enormous consequence for our country. Therefore, I stand before you today as one of the luckiest Generals in the Army; I am lucky because I have been enriched in so many ways during my military career. First, I marched to my Commanding Officer for the first time as a Second Lieutenant soon after I joined the unit line where, my Commanding Officer happened to be the Great General Vijaya Wimalarathna, who is a famed and battle-hardened legend in the Army. That day I was highly motivated by his leadership and charisma, and surely I wanted to be someone like him one day.
Secondly, I climbed up the ladder with mentorship of great senior officers and with their acceptance. Thirdly, I shared the battlefield with dauntless men and subordinates who dared to sacrifice even the life for the motherland. Fourthly, I have been recognized as a leader rather than a mere Commander by the subordinates and they have supported me to undertake any task, assigned to the Army. Fifthly and most importantly, the new capacity places me in right and very comfortable position in continuing to serve this great Army, and the motherland at this critical time.
I feel it is highly worth mentioning the officers and other ranks served under me during the 37 years of my life as an Officer, who had been a great strength to thrive towards the common goal of serving the motherland in operational and non-operational commitments. I pay my heartfelt tribute to those brave men fought side by side with me in the battlefield, who made the supreme sacrifice in achieving the goals and targets, assigned to them in the noble cause of giving a better tomorrow for our country and its people. As one of the frontline Commanders who bear the testimony of their supreme sacrifice, I salute them and insist on this day that their sacrifice is not forgotten and never ever be forgotten. I would render my fullest contribution to give the real meaning for their sacrifice until the end of my life.
I pray speedy recovery for the officers and men who rendered a great service to the nation at the expense of their limbs, organs and eyes. Their contribution deemed sacrosanct, and I ensure, that their well-being will be looked after till the rest of their lives.
Elevating the rank of the Commander of the Army to 4 Star Level is not merely a personal gain of me. It is a resultant of the utmost dedication, commitment and performance and the governing and public confidence of the organisation, too. Therefore, I would like to pay my sincere gratitude to the past Commanders, and retired senior officers for their relentless contribution to bring up the Sri Lanka Army to this level. Also, my thanking extends to officers and men served with utmost devotion, commitment and sacrifice from the inception of Sri Lanka Army to-date. It is because of them we are here today.
My military life was not an easy one, I waded in my career through many challenges. Yet, I always discharged my duty with sacrifice, where I have never sought personal comfort at the expense of my duty and obligations. I believed in utmost loyalty towards my superiors, peers, subordinates and the organisation. Not only that, I never hesitate to give due recognition to stalwart subordinates and corrective action against any subordinate whenever I observe disloyalty. Most importantly, I religiously abide by the integrity. I have never compromised my integrity where, I have not taken a single cent, up to date from anywhere, for my personal comfort which is not morally and rightfully mine. Also, I have never tolerated those who did such scandals under my command.
As I mentioned earlier, my military life was not an easy journey. However, the early days of my career was quite easy and satisfying, despite the rigorous and hard life as a Second Lieutenant to a frontline Division Commander during intense battles. I did my part within my frame, and discharged my role with utmost commitment and perseverance with my sole aim of serving the motherland and its people in different calibres and different tasks assigned to me. I am happy to say by now the right person is given the right opportunity and place in his career in the organization.
I feel it is worth mentioning that I have been assigned with many challenging tasks during my career often with resources, time and authority constraints. However, I have not left room for any of my superior, peer or outsider to blame or make adverse comments that Shavendra Silva has not done it or not completed it or failed to do it. I have always accomplished the organisational objectives and goals assigned to me even at the expense of personal comfort. I think that made me to come to the position where I am today.
Finally, let me insist that for the last 37 years, I have been working with dedication, commitment, utmost sense of duty and especially with dignity. I will discharge the duties in the capacity of Chief of Defence Staff and specially as the Commander of the Army in year 2021 too, and I will drive the tri forces to the victory and nothing but the victory of the Mother Sri Lanka.
Last but not the least, I am immensely grateful to my parents for bringing me up and nurturing me with rich ethos and values of a respectable citizen and with gratitude I remember my siblings and family members for their generous well wishes in my life from my childhood to-date. Also I immensely value backing of my children and enormously mention the support, caring, tolerance of my beloved wife, being a shadow of my life.
I wish the health wealth and good luck for all your future endeavours with a sincere hope of receiving your fullest cooperation and support for the noble course of thriving the mother Sri Lanka towards security and prosperity. Also may the dawn of New Year be flourished with hopes, achievements, prosperity and happiness to you and your beloved ones.
More : https://www.army.lk/news/general-shavendra-silva-vows-drive-tri-forces-victory-mother-sri-lanka
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