Duty of Army to help govt. resettle IDPs - Commander

With the war over, it is now the prime duty of the army to help government departments engaged in re-settlement of the Internally Displaced Persons, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya said in Anuradhapura last Friday.

"We must be able to win the hearts and minds of civilians and safeguard their dignity while performing our duties. We must also preserve the dignity of the army, which has a proud history of 60 years", he noted.

The army chief was speaking during a dinner hosted for all ranks in the Army at Farm Garden Village Hotel in Anuradhapura. He was received on arrival by Chief of Staff, Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe.

"I also want to stress that we all are dedicated to create a country using our human resources for the sake of our future generations".

Paying a glowing tribute to 1000 other ranks representing all regiments of the military present at the dinner, which was hosted by him as a symbolic gesture of goodwill, Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya said their efforts to free the motherland from grips of terrorism which plagued the country for three decades have borne fruit.

"In the future, you must fulfill all responsibilities entrusted to you under the Constitution. We have a bigger share of administrative responsibilities to do although the war is over", he noted.

"You all must work hard to improve your duty procedure, technical know-how and professional knowledge according to your abilities and skills through your Units and Regiments. That’s the only way to make the Sri Lankan Army a full-fledged organization.", the Commander said.

He said he is pleased to announce you that the government had already decided to increase the basic salary by Rs.1000/= as well as extend the hard living allowance given at present only to security forces serving in north and east, to all members of the army from November onwards. Various welfare measures are being provided by the government to the army.

"I also assure you that I will make arrangements to get you more facilities in the future too", he said.

"It was my decision to gather all ranks of every Regiment at this dinner organized as a token of appreciation of your contribution to the 60th anniversary celebrations. I am well aware the enormous dedication and hard work you put in for the success of these celebrations, irrespective of your personal requirements following the humanitarian operations. I pay my sincere gratitude to all of you for that", the Commander said.

Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya paid his tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives during the humanitarian operations, received injuries and became disabled in the war.

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