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Scouting must be promoted to safeguard the younger generation – Defence Secretary

September 26, 2020

  •     Scouting plays a vital role in a civilized community in the world today.
  •     Scouting practice to act as a golden shield in curbing crimes.
  •     Once a scout is always a scout.

Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said, by realizing how much scouting can do, one must exert every effort to promote the spirit of scouting into the Sri Lankan community.

Referring to the involvement of teenagers in drugs and crime related activities, he said “the essentiality of scouting as a character shaping will be of utmost importance in ensuring a safe and secure country for our future generation”.

Scouting practice would be a golden shield in curbing drug addictions, crimes, underworld activities and violence among the teenagers in the country, he reasoned.

We all should do our level best to promote and upgrade the scouting concept to safeguard the younger generation from the menace of illegal addictions, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said while addressing the 20th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Queen’s and President’s Scout Guild as the Chief Guest today (Sep 26) in Colombo.

As we all are aware, His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the chief scout of Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is an absolute necessity for us to be in line with his vision of ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’, he stressed.

We must support this vision for a better future for the younger generation in the country, he also said.

Maj. Gen. Gunaratne having noticed the guild’s functions over the past 20 years said “I can clearly witness that the members of this guild have committed to the said objectives while fulfilling them up to the highest standards”.

“Once a scout is always a scout, irrespective of age and he cares about the society and the world as a whole”, he said adding “doing what you can to make an impact in your own life is the lesson that I carried into my military career”.

Defence Secretary mentioning the first 21 years of the life of a young individual as the period of preparation for the adult’s world said “he goes through a long and hard training and apprenticeship in life during these years, and he may be fully prepared to play his part as a participating citizen when he attains the age of maturity”.

The activities we go through supplement and complement us to enrich ample of constructive character building aspects once we reach the milestone of winning the President’s Scouts Award, he recalled.

Speaking on decisions taken by hierarchy in the military setup he said, our role is to support the decisions made, by achieving the set missions to achieve the objectives of higher command.

Stressing on the need for the highest level of courage, dedication, commitment, integrity and honesty as leaders of all levels he said “These are the characteristics of a scout's life, adding that knowledge, wisdom, skills and importantly the way of life are also intended to learn as a scout".

These traits with excellence of duty and responsibility which had moulded with courage and integrity were the significant lessons that I gathered from the scouting life and have become the cornerstone in my life, he noted.

Mementos were also exchanged to mark the occasion during the session.

Chief Scout Commissioner of Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. Milinda Peiris, President Sri Lanka Scout Association Mr. Chandra Wakishta, President Sri Lanka Queen’s and President’s Scout Guild Mr. Kamalnath Jinadasa, former Scout Commissioners, Executive Members of the Sri Lanka Scout’s Association and distinguished invitees were also present at the occasion.