President Maithripala Sirisena says the government is bound to protect the dignity and pride of the defence sector including the tri-forces while confronting alleged human rights violations purported to have taken place during the last phase of the war.
He added that he would never let the security sector including tri-forces to be weakened in any way.
The President made these remarks at a Colours Awarding Ceremony of Sri Lanka Army held at Sri Lanka Army Headquarters in Panagoda today.
This is the first time a Head of the State participated in a Colours Awarding Ceremony of Army, after 25 years of such participation of Late President J. R. Jayewardene.
President Sirisena who arrived in the Army Headquarters was welcomed with special guard of honour.
The President presented Presidential Colours and Regimental Colours to Sri Lanka Army Regiment and Presidential Colours and Unit Colours to the Sri Lanka Army and the Second Sri Lanka Volunteers Regiment.
A special message to the event issued by the President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was presented.
The President also unveiled an 80-foot-high statue dedicated to soldiers who were killed during the war.
“Even though the various people, who believe different political ideologies, say various things using the freedom of speech and democracy ensured by us, the new government is committed to protect the honour and dignity of the War Heroes”, the President further said.
“More space has been allocated to our security forces in the UN Peacekeeping operations as a security force which is well-trained and well-disciplined,” he said. The President further said that during his last visit to the US to attend the UN General Assembly he has discussed in this regard with the UN Secretary General and with few state leaders.
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Karunasena Hettiarachchi- Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunathilaka- Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva- Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Air Vice Marshal Gagan Bulathsinhala- Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Former Commanders of the Army- General Daya Ratnayake, General Shantha Kottegoda, Major General Amal Karunasekara- Colonel of the Regiment Sri Lanka Light Infantry , other senior officers of the Sri Lanka Army and many others participated at the event. (Colombo Gazette)