Written by Staff Writer
17 Jun, 2022 | 2:51 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Setting out his plan of action and the vision for the Army in future, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Commander of the Army yesterday (16) for the first time addressed a representative group of All Ranks at the Army HQ after he took over as 24th Commander of the Army a few days ago.
In his address, he paid a glowing tribute to the memory of fallen War Heroes and civil staffers who laid their lives during humanitarian operations in order to free the country from LTTE terrorism, along with his parents, family members, teachers at school and thanked HE the President, Secretary Defence and former Commander of the Army for selecting him for the highest office in the Army, keeping the fullest trust in him. He also wished speedy recovery to injured War Heroes who are still under rehabilitation and recuperation as he began his address.
“I should gratefully acknowledge and commend my predecessor, now the Chief of Defence Staff for his tireless and far-sighted implementation of many projects that brought about a vast improvement to the sound function of the entire organization. It is our duty to forge ahead with the milestone vision, the ‘Way Forward Strategy 2020 – 2025’, in which many new strategic approaches and perspectives have been introduced and already introduced for the growth of professional standards and multifaceted skills of soldiers and perspectives. General Shavendra Silva’s contribution with our heroic troops to the eradication of COVID 19 remains a landmark effort and a memory that could never be forgotten in the Army,” he said.
“As has been the case, we should always be prepared to face any challenge or emergency and dedicated to the nation-building, disaster management roles, and now the cultivation of food crops in all camp compounds throughout the island. As an organization that has robbed hearts and minds and respect of the people in the country, we should always be mindful of varying attempts of various interested parties and their machinations in media platforms, through which efforts are made to tarnish the image of the organization.”
The Commander also stated that the guidelines imparted by the founding father of the Gajaba Regiment and instructions being given by the Defence Secretary and the CDS would help him to work easier as he has a very cordial working relationship with them.
“My vision is to maintain high level of professional standards in the organization and assure the safeguarding of the Sri Lankan Constitution, her people and democracy while defending the country from internal or external threats. We should also assist our Navy and Air Force sister services as well as the Police when necessary.”
Referring to further improvements at strategic level, he said that we need to change our security strategies to suit ground realities and new technical aspects. “I want all of you to seek possibilities of further improving this aspect while working in a democratic framework and adding your own inputs.”
“While serving the offices of the Colonel of a Regiment, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force and more lately, the Chief of Staff of the Army, I was able to acquire much experience and knowledge on administrative matters and logistics. While focusing on the promotion of welfare of all ranks further, I wish to do everything possible for the best interests of the organization in future as well.”
“Recently, I joined a visit to inspect the progress of the Kandy Army Hospital and the Hockey Ground. Those facilities will soon be open to all. I will also try my best to increase the numbers, set to go for UN peacekeeping missions in future and would do everything possible to elevate standards of Army sports.”
Giving a piece of warning, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage reiterated that he would not tolerate any misbehaviour of officers or their engagement in any illegal activities. “I will take stern action against such mischiefs and subject them to disciplinary actions.”
He also appreciated the exemplary patience and very effective professional conduct of Officers and Other Ranks during the most recent tense developments in the country. He also appealed to all ranks to support the realization of the President’s ‘Saubhagyaye Dekma’ policy vistas of prosperity as it is a part of our responsibility too. Our agriculture development sector in the Army should take all possible measures to give maximum support for promotion of agricultural crops by way of machinery, technical know-how, fertilizer and manpower wherever needed, he said.
On arrival at the venue for the address, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage was welcomed by Major General Jagath Kodithuwakku, Chief of Staff, together with Major General Channa Weerasooriya, Deputy Chief of Staff and the Adjutant General.
The introductory address was made by Major General Swarna Bothota, Adjutant General of the Army Headquarters. A video script on the new Commander was also screened at the same location before the maiden address to the troops commenced.
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