DUTY FIRST | Daily News

DUTY FIRST

The Sri Lanka Army fulfills it peace-time service of nation-building, mirroring its war-time service in national security:

No matter the caste or creed and no matter the need, the military has always been willing to serve the citizens of Sri Lanka at any moment. The military’s discipline in structure, command, control and communication has made it an ideal organization to deal with different types of emergencies that the nation is faced with.

The most recent was the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic where even the WHO acknowledged that Sri Lanka had tackled the situation much better than other countries, some of which were developed nations. A large portion of the credit goes to the nation’s military which was enlisted to contain the spread of the virus. This story starts with the military taking responsibility for quarantining the 33 Sri Lankan students who returned from Wuhan city in China.

Another project was the mega coastal belt clean-up campaign which was carried out by the Army troops throughout the coast around the country. The military also played an active role in the nation’s Thuru Mithuru Nava Ratak green project and assisted by planting trees in their camp premises islandwide as well as ploughing and cultivating abandoned paddy lands,

Under the four phases of the Thuru Mithuru Nava Ratak and Saubhagye Dekma (Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour) projects, more than 1,000 acres of land has been cultivated at present.

A third project which the military undertook was eradicating the traffic congestion in Colombo city and suburbs. The Sri Lanka Army, the defenders of the nation, is ready to extend its services further as a highly professional army under the exceptional leadership of Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.

In fulfilling its responsibility for the betterment of the whole nation, the Army is currently undertaking several community development projects in rural schools as well as constructing roads and other buildings around the country.

In the same vein, under the guidance and coordination of the Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and with the direction given by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Army has undertaken construction and renovation work islandwide during the last two weeks.

Under these projects, neglected school playgrounds and several roadways are being renovated by Army troops. These mega construction projects are being undertaken with the skilled manpower of the Army’s Engineering Corps and several other troops. These 10 projects are in the Kuliyapitiya, Ratnapura, Poramadulla, Galle, Moneragala, Madulla, Middeniya and Thanamalvila areas.

A playground and a pavilion was a long-felt need at the J.R Jayewardene Central College, Kuliyapitiya, and is currently being undertaken by the troops of 11 Field Sri Lanka Engineers. The construction commenced in July and about 80 percent of the work has been completed.

Meanwhile, the troops of 12 Field Engineers renovated the playground at Deraniyagala Siri Saman National School. The new playground has been bestowed to the students in the school.

The Army is renovating the playground at Haguranketha Poramadulla Central College, fulfilling a long-felt need. the school is also to get a stadium in the near future. The troops of 18 Gemunu Watch and the Corps of Engineering Services have begun renovating the school playground at Moneragala Madulla Central College on a request made by the children, teachers, and parents. Meanwhile, the troops of the 12 Engineer Services Regiment and 3 Sri Lanka National Guard have commenced renovation of the roofs of the buildings at Middeniya Primary School.

Similarly, the children at Thanamalwila National College are going to receive a renovated school auditorium; the entry road to the school premises will also be renovated. These repairs are conducted by the troops of 9 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and 10 Corps of Engineer Services.

another set of troops is conducting the renovation of the Dematapandura tank which is 350 metres long. Troops of 11 Sri Lanka Engineers are currently assisting in the construction of the tank which provides water to a mega cultivation area in Thanamalwila.

Army troops are also busy widening the Ayagama – Kalawana road and Neluwa – Lankagama roads. The construction is being carried out by the troops of 11and 12 Sri Lanka Engineers. The troops of 5 Field Sri Lanka Engineers is widening the Kolawenigama and Lankagama roads.

According to the directions given by the President, Army troops all over the country fulfill their service for the betterment of society, as it is a secondary duty for the military after ensuring national security.

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 community as the Army has troops with several different skills.