Bill introduced for appointment of Chief of Defence Staff

The government yesterday (9), introduced a Bill in Parliament to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff who will be responsible for the co-ordination between the Armed Forces and the Defence Ministry and for the setting up of the committee of the CDS.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake presented the Bill.

The President will appoint the CDS from among the persons serving as Commander of the Army or Commander of the Air Force as the case may be, the Bill said.

The CDS shall function under the direction, supervision and control of the Secretary to the Defence Ministry.

When an officer of a force is appointed the CDS, he shall relinquish his current position, but would continue to be a member of the regular force of the service to which he belonged.

The CDS shall, subject to the pleasure of the President, hold office for a term of two years. An officer serving as the CDS shall be eligible to be reappointed in like manner for one more term of two years, provided that in a time of emergency, the President may reappoint the officer serving as the CDS for any number of such terms of office.

The CDS may be removed at any time by the President taking into consideration issues of national security, without assigning reasons therefore, the Bill says.

Among the functions of the CDS are the provision of strategic direction for the armed forces, to develop a doctrine for the joint employment of the armed forces, to facilitate the preparation of strategic plans for the armed forces, to assess military requirements as against the proposed defence procurement plans and to advise the ministry accordingly.

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