(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that discipline and commitment are required in order to take charge of a country’s future, and plans will be implemented from next year to take Sri Lanka to a new dimension through a disciplined society.
The President stated that, while the people are currently experiencing economic difficulties, this should only be expected for a short time period, and that he will work to improve the country’s economy before year end.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated this while participating in the ceremony held yesterday(19) at Rantambe National Cadet Training Centre for the awarding of the President’s Colors and Corps Colors to the National Cadet Corps.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the President’s and Corps Colors to the National Cadet Corps, which has a 142-year history.
Following the presentation of the President’s and Corps colors, the President also joined in observing the Cadet Corps parade.
The President stated that a strong economy and a new society should be created in the country, and he expects the Cadet Corps to provide disciplined leadership for the new society that will be created for the country’s youth.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe further said:
Today is a special day for you. We recognize the national value of the National Cadet Corps. The President’s Colors and the Corps Colors were awarded to the National Cadet Corps in recognition of this achievement. This is a very old force. The Royal College established a cadet unit when the Sri Lankan Infantry was formed.
The Cadet Corps that began since then, has a 142-year history. The military officers who emerged from it took part in the First World War. Officers from this Cadet Corps served in the subsequent World War II as well as the country’s internal wars. Also, the members of the Cadet Corps have also made significant contributions to the armed forces. We are here today to show our appreciation on behalf of those activities.
The Cadet Corps evolved from the Ceylon Infantry to the Ceylon Defense Force and then to the Sri Lanka Army. As the then Minister of Education, I proposed to Parliament to name this force as the National Cadet Corps. And today I have the honor of presenting the President’s and Corps Colors to the National Cadet Corps.
The people needed for the country’s future are trained by this Cadet Corps. In addition to the Cadet Corps who joined the army, there are many people who have served in various sectors but are not in the army. Our Prime Minister, Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena, is the most prominent member of that group. I recall him attending those trainings in the evenings during the school days.
Today, as we confer this presidential color on you, it is our duty to express our appreciation to those who founded this Cadet Corps, as well as those who contributed to its success, and to the entire Cadet Corps.
Today the Cadet Corps operates in many schools. I expressed the Defense State Minister and the Secretary of the Defense Ministry, that Cadet Corps should be established in every Central College. We must continue to develop this further. I believe that this will produce the disciplined citizens that this country needs.
It is also the government’s responsibility to ensure that the students in this Cadet Corps have a bright future. While the Minister of State is here, I suggest that the children in the cadet groups should be given a quota for training in government institutions. We must secure their future. We should be dedicated to provide training for you who move forward with discipline.
Also we have focused on your future. I am well aware of the difficulties that you, your parents, and the people of the country are currently facing. Economically, we all have to bear a heavy burden. We have no other option. People are experiencing difficulties today, but this should be expected to last only a short period of time. This situation will not only change before the end of the year, but we will also need to build a new economy.
We must build both a strong economy and a new society for the benefit of the country’s youth. To build such a new social system, a disciplined leadership is required. I am hopeful that the Cadet Corps will provide the required leadership.
To take on the future requires discipline and commitment. It should be noted that we are committed to developing this cadet force with qualified personnel and improving everyone’s future.
I offer my best wishes to everyone receiving the President’s and Corps colors on this occasion of the National Cadet Corps, which has served this country for 142 years.
State Minster of Defense Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Governor of Central Province Lalith U. Gamage, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff of the President Sagala Ratnayake, Defense Secretary Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Secretary of the Ministry of Education Nihal Ranasinghe, Chief of Defense Staff General Shavendra Silva, Army Commander Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, Director National Cadet Corps Brigadier Sudantha Fonseka and other officials witnessed the ceremonial event.