28th May 2021 21:03:46 Hours


Enlistment of more than 1600 Jaffna Tamil boys and girls to the Sri Lanka Army during the ongoing recruitment drive in the past three months vehemently reassures the faith and high regard those young ones have towards our organization and symbolizes their sincere need for true co-existence and reconciliation, despite obstacles and threats, placed before them by various disgruntled and divisive elements and those who want to incite them while pandering to recurrence of violence. It is in fact a positive turning point as regards the image of our organization is concerned and a matter of pride for all of you. Similarly, more than 7000 of you, including those of the Air Force are dedicatedly engaged in COVID-19 control work in the peninsula spending sleepless nights and preventing its spread while simultaneously taking care of the infected at the risk of your own lives, for which I would pay my sincere and whole-hearted gratitude, so declared General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head, National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), addressing a large gathering of tri service troops serving the peninsula on Monday (12) after meeting them as a true military colossus with great leadership traits.

In compliance with strict health procedures, related to COVID-19 outbreak, Security Force HQ-Jaffna has meticulously arranged the meet with the visiting Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army who was arriving there to assess security developments, COVID-19 preventive work and particularly to share New Year greetings with Tri servicemen who forego their leave because of their commited responsibilities during the festive season and stay back away from their loved ones in the family.

It is worthwhile to mention here that HE the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Hon Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Secretary Defence, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) have been lending their maximum support for resolution of your concerns all the time, and plans are afoot to launch different welfare roles for the greater benefit of you in future too, although the government, largely due to COVID-19 impact has been confronted with both health and financial constraints. All those welfare and other concerns and pressing issues are now being addressed at Ministry level and solutions found without any further delay. Similarly, construction work of the Defence Service HQ complex at Sri Jayawardenepura has been now expedited and our sister services could also be re-located soon after its completion, General Shavendra Silva added.

In addition, you all are rendering a very impressive and laudable service here in Jaffna, a region which has gained a big exposure internationally due to the majority concentration of Tamil civilians, resident here. Let me first of all pay my deep tribute to the memory of 13 fallen War Heroes at Thirunavel a few years ago, including Lieutenant Vas Gunawardene of the Army who fell victim to LTTE terrorism as the first batch of War Heroes and all other tri service War Heroes who had laid their lives for restoration of peace in Jaffna and defence of the motherland, fighting against separatist moves. I also join transferring merits to all departed defenders of the nation and wish them attain Nibbana. Likewise, I wish all injured War Heroes still under recuperation be well soon and all sevicemen a happy and peaceful New Year, he said.

Since the conclusion of the war for peace, all of you, he added, have been accomplishing an exemplary and dedicated role for enhancement of Jaffna civilians ' livelihood income sources, development of infrastructure, construction of houses for the needy, schools, community halls, distribution of push cycles, books and school accessories, etc while performing civil-military cooperation projects on a large scale, which is self-evident. I know all of you while attaching priority to the national security concerns have been throwing your full weight behind control of all forms of anti-social, illegal and smuggling efforts in the peninsula, giving focus largely on sea routes and other dens. All those dauting tasks of our tri services are done for the betterment of common masses in Jaffna, at times even without taking their routine leave turns, for which we should all be proud of you, the visiting Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army complimented in his speech.

It is also pertinent to remember that your bounden duty remains with the question of national security. You all have tirelessly worked very much hand in hand with Police authorities in the control of anti social movements, resurgence of terrorist tendencies, criminal roles, drug menace, smuggling, etc and most of Jaffna people and authoritative State Officials are contended and impressed with your committed roles. You need to be always alert to developments taking place around you in future too. Your invaluable gestures of reconciliation have produced positive results and the absence of any issues against you in civil society alone justifies the fact that you have done your sacred duty in a noble manner. Therefore, I am sure you all, tri service personnel, admired as 'Defenders of the Nation & Land ', ' Golden Fence around Country ' and 'Defender of the Skies ' would continue to perform their national roles to the best of their ability in the future, too, he said.

Let me wish all members of the tri forces, their family members and civil staffers working here a very happy and prosperous New Year and join extending best wishes for speedy recovery of all injured War Heroes and also their loved ones at this auspicious turn of the New Year !