Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, the new Commander of the Army in his maiden address to the Officers on Monday (26) morning at the Commander’s Secretariat at the Army Headquarters minced no words to set out his great breadth of vision for the Organization and its Modernization, National Security, Nation-Building, Reconciliation Process, Improvement of Skilled Professionalism and Career Progression, Welfare of Army members & Families, Retirement and Transition prospects as seven pillars of strength.
“In my belief, there are four areas of focus. I concentrate firstly to protect the country. Secondly, to protect the great people of this country who have a remarkable documented history. Thirdly, the development of the Army for today and for future is my priority. And fourthly looking after the well-being of all members of this organization is of paramount importance to me. During my command while concentrating on above four pillars, my strategy of developing the Army will be implemented under three consecutive stages. They will be achieved through short, medium and long term plans,” the Commander specified.
“On our way to success, there are some priorities that we need to be focused on. Our utmost priority is on National Security. We should not allow anyone to compromise our security for any reason. Our approach to ensure National Security should be highly comprehensive. In this endeavour, enhancing the fighting power, intelligence systems and technology to counter contemporary and emerging threats is essential. Specially the intelligence based matters a lot. Development and enhancement of intelligence agencies is placed top priority in my agenda. It is obvious that we have to face unconventional and unpredictable threats in the future than conventional threats. In this sense, we need to identify the dimensions of new threats. Also, we have to enhance our soldiers’ combat efficiency by giving focus to develop their physical fitness, morale and conceptual awareness,” the Commander elaborated.
“Our solutions that fitted well in the past may not fit to present situations as they do and the future issues are going to be different, altogether in every aspect. Therefore, we need to be adaptable and continue to be adaptable in finding solutions for varying circumstances now, and onwards.
“I hold zero tolerance policy on financial malpractices and misappropriation of property, either public or Army on the other hand, and no Officer should misuse the authority vested upon you which is expected to be used in the best interest of the Army. Therefore, all levels of commanders should ensure that all the Officers and Other Ranks under your command are acquainted with and comply with the orders and instructions, issued by myself as the Commander of the Army and the Army Headquarters. Further, you should provide necessary assistance in the implementation process of the same,” the Commander warned.
Referring to his intention of meting out justice to all, he quipped: “I insist that I will take all decisions in accordance with the principles of natural justice in order to render justice to everyone. In doing so, relevant parties to the matter under consideration will be heard before arriving at the final decision without being biased towards anyone.”
Touching the question of promotion of ethnic harmony and gestures of reconciliation, Lieutenant General Silva remarked: “I come from a background where multi-cultural diversity has been in practice in Matale. From my childhood through school days, I lived in a tolerant society where the brothers and sisters of those different communities lived together in harmony which I continue to associate even today. To this end, my upbringing taught me as to how to live in a harmonious society, so therefore I am armed with all pre requisites that required leading this journey.”
“Our solutions that fitted well in the past may not fit to present situations as they do and the future issues are going to be different, altogether in every aspect. Therefore, we need to be adaptable and continue to be adaptable in finding solutions for varying circumstances now, and onwards,” he underlined.