January 14, 2020
• Says Sri Lanka achieved peace after years of sacrifices
• Claims thousands of lives were lost and wounded during the war
• Says many are confined to wheelchairs and bedridden
Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne requested the parents to be more vigilant about their children to protect them from drug menace, which was given a high priority to curb with the assistance of specially formed law enforcement units.
“I being the most senior parent here today, advise you all to pay utmost attention to your children as responsible parents,” he said addressing a gathering of parents and children of the Defence College, Colombo today (14).
Giving recent statistics from Navy, which had taken 800g of ‘ice’ (methamphetamine) to its custody, he said that small quantity was sufficient to cater for over 15,000 drug addicts.
He said he received telephone calls daily from parents requesting to curb drug menace, which was causing a huge damage socially and economically.
Maj.Gen. Gunaratne, recalling the opening ceremony of the Defence College in year 2007, said he and all the other invitees present at the ceremony felt that, as school children who went to reputed schools, they did not have the opportunity to attend the state-of the-art schools like the Defence School.
“Therefore, it is the prime responsibility of the parents to extend their fullest support to maintain and develop the school. This is the country’s best school with -highest facilities but no proper attention was given in the recent past to this institute, which was established for the children of the military personnel,” he said adding that it was the duty of the parents to support the institution to enhance the knowledge and sports skills of those children to excel in studies and sports.
Defence Secretary said that as the first step of his main concerns on this school, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Vajra Palihakkara was appointed as the Director of the school relieving the principal and the staff of administration and logistics matters.
Maj. Gen. Gunaratne, while requesting parents to teach their children about human values, pledged to provide assistance of the Tri-Forces to ensure proper maintenance of the institute.
Recalling the Easter Sunday bomb blasts Maj.Gen. Gunaratne said there were many children among the wounded who would suffer from lifelong scars of the deadly attack.
Defence Secretary recalling his past said he did not have much time to attend to his daughter’s college requirements other than Parents’ and Teachers’ meeting and the sports meets.
“Dear Children, don’t let others know you by your parents reputation. Strive hard to establish your own identity and personality by yourself,” he requested the children.
Highlighting the importance of learning English language, he promised a Language Lab to school, a concept of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa when he was the Defence Secretary.
“Encourage your child to engage in extracurricular activities which are of utmost importance in building a good personality and finding more opportunities in future. This college has a well-qualified principal. You as parents must respect her and help her perform her duties. I, as an old pupil of Ananda College have seen renowned and reputed characters respect the present principal of my alma mater although he is younger than many of them,” Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said.
Promising to restart the hostel project which was stopped halfway, Defence Secretary expressed his hope to see the Defence College bloom within next five years with best results in examinations and best performances in the field of sports.