(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –President Maithripala Sirisena expressed high appreciation to the armed forces, the police and the intelligence services for their absolute commitment to national security and regional security.
The President made this statement participating at the opening ceremony of the new Army Headquarters at Akuregoda, Pelawatta today (08th) morning.
The President was welcomed by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva at the new Army Headquarters premises.
A gun salute and a military parade was held in honour of the President, following which the President unveiled the plaque and opened the new military headquarters.
The foundation stone was laid on March 11th, 2011 for the Ministry of Defense and the Army Headquarters on a 77 acre land in Akuregoda, Pelawatta. Estimated cost for this project is Rs. 53.3 billion, making it the largest construction project in Sri Lanka. The complex is equipped with the latest technological equipment and amenities and the latest technological safeguards.
With the guidance of President Sirisena, construction work was expedited. The President declared open the Army Headquarters and Office Complex with modern technology, which was completed under the first stage of the Defense Ministry and the Defense Forces Headquarters complex.
Accordingly, the head office of the Sri Lanka Army, which is presently located in various parts of the country, have been established in this main complex. The cost of renting buildings for the establishment of various sections of the Army in Colombo and its suburbs had cost nearly Rs. 50 million per month and now that money would be saved as all these units have moved to the new headquarters.
Addressing the gathering, President Sirisena recalled the role played in safeguarding national security by the Armed Forces. He also mentioned the army services in the welfare of the country.
The President thanked the Defense Minister and all the security forces, including the Police and all the units of security forces, for their contribution to the success of the Presidency during his 5-year tenure.
The President also handed over service ‘Sewabhimani’ medals to the service personnel and civilian officials.
A special souvenir was presented to the President as well.
Minister of State for Defense, Mr. Wijewardene, Defense Secretary General Shantha Kottegoda and three armed forces commanders were also present on the occasion.