Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
NATION-BUILDING, A ARMY PRIORITY FOR PERSONNEL
The Army’s unfailing commitment to national infrastructure development, community welfare and contingency alertness, for which their military discipline in structure, command, control and communication serve a guiding light, is now most respected and considered the ideal organization to deal with all types of emergencies that the Nation is faced with as evidenced in many an example. Yet, HE the President, Hon Prime Minister and the Government are fully confident that the Army as the most formidable force to be reckoned with could be entrusted with any sort of responsibility at any time of the day or night.
The multifaceted and multipurpose, ‘Thuru Mithuru-nawa Ratak’ project conceptualized by the Army Chief himself for enhancement of a greener environment, free from pollutants is another island-wide drive which is now in full swing at all Army SFHQS levels. Beautification of roadsides with rare plants, recultivation of unattended paddy fields, etc, reforestation of national reserves, planting of fruit saplings, distribution of saplings and seeds among civilians, conduct of instructional courses on agriculture for civilians, are among a few worth mentioning.
Another project was the mega coastal belt clean-up campaign, which is carried out by Army troops along the entire coastal belt around the country where hundreds of troops in coordination with local civilians take part in those cleaning projects. Of late, Military Police personnel of the Army on request are now assisting the city traffic Police to ease vehicular congestion in Colombo centre and suburbs during peak hours.
On directions given by HE the President to the Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, the Army has now undertaken the task of construction and renovation work of island-wide schools, roads, infrastructure facilities and public buildings, abandoned tanks, damaged houses, etc in the past month under the President’ s ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandarak’ project. In the same vein, under the guidance and coordination of relevant authorities, these mega construction projects are being attended to by the Army’s Engineering Corps and other troops. Some of those public projects are in Kuliyapitiya (construction of playground and the pavilion), Ratnapura (Deraniyagala school playground), Poramadulla,(school playground), Moneragala, Madulla (school playground), Middeniya (renovation of school roofs) and Thanamalwila (school auditorium).
The Sri Lankan military’s involvement in nation-building is multifaceted. In the future too, the Sri Lanka Army troops will continue their nation- building projects in coordination with the civil communities. Renovation of the Dematapandura tank, widening of the Ayagama - Kalawana road and Neluwa - Lankagama road and a few other projects are still in progress.