Armed forces should be geared to support the government’s mechanism in nation building process – Defense Secretary

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Armed forces should always be geared to support the Government mechanism in the nation building process to revive the country that was ruined for three decades due to LTTE activities, Defense Secretary Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne has said.

The Defense Secretary noting that military leaders are expected to perform in all spheres said the government will expect an officer to lead their men to safeguard people against any threat whether it is manmade or natural, since current threats are mostly spinning as natural disasters/calamities endangering human life.

Major General (Retd) Gunaratne expressed these views speaking as the Chief Guest at the Graduation Ceremony of the Course Number 14 of Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, Colombo Friday.

“Wisdom and knowledge intertwined with professionalism for an officer is considered foremost, and therefore, we are in desperate need of highly qualified, skilled and professional military officers to guide our forces towards a future which will be challenging and demanding,” the Defense Secretary said recalling the failures and success in fighting the three-decade-long battle against the ruthless terrorists.

Speaking on the world’s continuous evolution in the scopes of globalization, technological advancements and other innovations while demanding countries to move abreast, the Defense Secretary said countries are striving to reach higher profiles in diplomacy, informational, military and economic spears and therefore, Sri Lanka needs its military to achieve the highest possible standards attainable without any exception.

Citing the Coronavirus pandemic as one of the cases which has demanded the commitment and dedication towards safeguarding people, Major General Gunaratne asserted, “Our military along with the Police and Civil Security Department extended a noteworthy service to the nation in combatting COVID 19 while saving people and it is still in progress.”

At yesterday’s ceremony, 132 young officers of Sri Lankan tri-forces and 18 officers of 11 friendly foreign nations were conferred the graduation.

Foreign student officers of Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Sudan were the alumnus of the DSCSC for this year.

Illustrating on investment to middle grade level in military education, the Defense Secretary said the training should be given with utmost priority in the military to ensure, leaders are geared to take up any challenge and to command men with pride even being a General, Admiral or an Air Marshal.

Reasoning the fact that reaching the helm in the military would never happen overnight, he said “It needs a lot of dedication, commitment and experience along with grander wisdom and knowledge.”

Further going into detail on developing an individual who understands the grand strategic and strategic objectives set and directing forces to achieve them, he said “a firm basement has to be established at the middle grade level”.

Mentioning about the DSCSC’s accreditation with Kotelawala Defense University (KDU) and conferment of a Master Degree covering noteworthy areas such as Sri Lankan studies, international affairs, strategic and management studies, he said “officers following the course will be immensely benefitted to develop a career with a higher academic recognition.”

DSCSC being the country’s highest seat of military education has been able to train officers to meet all such demands as professionally qualified so far, by providing high-quality and time-tested education for the betterment of the future military leaders of Sri Lanka and friendly foreign nations, the Defense Secretary said.

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