Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

NA­TION-BUILD­ING, A ARMY PRI­OR­ITY FOR PER­SON­NEL

- Sri Lankan Army · Sri Lanka · Defence Staff · Kuliyapitiya

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.

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