"No War Hero would be Subjected to Appear before Any Foreign
Tribunals" - President Assures Meeting Army Personnel
HE the President Maithripala Sirisena,
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, perhaps making a record for the
first time in the annals of the Army history addressed a representative
gathering of more than 350 Commanding Officers (COs), Adjutants and
Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) of the Army this evening (9) at the
Colombo Army Hospital auditorium.
Mr Kapila Waidyaratne, Secretary Defence and
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army extended a
warm welcome to the President on his arrival at the premises and ushered
him to the main auditorium.
Major General Dampath Fernando, Deputy Chief of Staff
in accordance with military traditions afterwards saluted the day's
Chief Guest and reported the gathering to the day's distinguished guest,
HE the President Maithripala Sirisena before the commencement of the
Seconds later, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake,
Commander of the Army in a brief address extended a warm welcome to the
President and invited him to take the floor.
In his address to those three digit number attendees,
the President thanked the Secretary Defence and the Commander of the
Army for arranging this meet and called upon each one to continue with
their dedicated roles for the sake of the country.
"You all have dedicatedly come forward to safeguard
the country and also in times of national disasters all the time at the
risk of your own lives, for which we are indebted to you. In the most
recent past, you all stood by the nation and took the lead when national
disasters, epidemics, landslides, etc struck us and I need your
continued support for development of our country as we march forward as
a peaceful society, rich with co-existence, reconciliation, harmony and
"As long as I remain the head of the country, I assure
you that none of you would be allowed to testify before any war
tribunals. Instead, such errant Army personnel, if any can be produced
before Courts and tried according to the existing law of the country.
Unlike the disgruntled politicians and some retired Army personnel
allege saying that the War Heroes would be tried and punished, I, as the
President of this country would not allow anyone be subjected to
interrogations of foreign judges as such. Therefore you should not be
misled by those baseless allegations and misleading statements."
He emphasized that no Human Rights organizations in
the world be allowed to pressurize the Sri Lanka Army on whatever the
grounds and the UN has been informed of our capacity to find solutions
to our own problems without any interference as a sovereign State.
"I also appeal all of you to believe in me and not to
be misled by statements, rumours and our detractors. I commend all of
you for the excellent services you rendered during the times of natural
disasters and request you to extend your best cooperation for sustenance
of reconciliation and peace in the country as a nation. I also wish to
insist that unlike in the past, no War Hero's overseas visa would be
denied in future and will ensure their overseas visits are facilitated
without any hindrance."
He also underlined the need for everyone to maintain
the hard-earned peace for the country's prosperity and assured that the
government would do everything possible to sustain the status-quo and
make the Sri Lankan Army one of the best in the world in future.
Towards the end of the formal troop address, Army
attendees joined together with their Commander-in-Chief of the Armed
Forces for refreshments where he moved freely and shared a few thoughts
with some of the Army personnel present there.
An Army live telecast of the President's speech was
transmitted to all Security Force Headquarters, Divisions and other
formations simultaneously covering more than 30,000 members of the Army
across the country.
Courtesy: Army Media Unit