Sept 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army responding to recent criticism of its security preparedness by some retired army officers has issued a statement clarifying that the army's recent 'right-sizing' program, which has been grossly misinterpreted, has taken all necessary measures to prepare the army for any eventuality.
Following is the full text of the statement released by the Army:
Nine years have passed since the Sri Lanka Army victoriously completed the near 30-year long brutal war. During that 9-year long period, four experienced Commanders maintaining the highest level of battle-preparedness have commanded the Army while introducing various training modules and exercises to that effect which are being more refinedly continued to-date. Likewise, all measures have been adopted uninterruptedly to introduce new training modules at all levels for all ranks, incorporating most modern techniques of warfare, based on experiences, gained in the battlefield in order to face any future battle threat perception. Similarly, necessary measures have been adopted comparatively to enhance more opportunities for both Officers and Other Ranks to receive foreign training slots with state patronage. This has further broadened their knowledge on international warfare, too.
Moreover, Battalions with lesser number of troops have been reinforced under the Army's right-sizing programme having taken all necessary measures to place all Battalions and Units on alert to face any eventualities in an organized manner. This has been grossly misinterpreted as closure of camps by some self-claimed 'war analysts'. By this time, all units under the Security Force Headquarters-Jaffna have been reorganized under the right-sizing programme, and the Sri Lanka Army challenges those so-called 'war analysts' to publicly name what those operationally important camps, said to have been closed down, if any.
However, relocation or shifting of camps that remained at the time of the culmination of the war, and also afterwards does not in any way amount to any lapse, and such alterations are done, assessing security developments at ground level particularly on the recommendations of respective field commanders. It is pertinent to note here that some former Commanders of the Army also have effected such changes in the past. Such courses of action, if necessary would continue in future also, assessing the security needs of the country.
In recent times, some retired Army Officers have alleged that they are not contended with the 'battle alertness of the Army' at present. It is not only ethically right for someone to review the status quo of the Army and its battlefield preparedness from outside after having gone on retirement years ago, but it also does question someone's moral right to hurl such allegations. It is pointed out that the Sri Lanka Army with the dedicated objective of strengthening it further when necessary has consulted former Commanders and retired Officers with battle-hardened experiences with good faith and the Army would continue such practices unfailingly in future, too.
The Sri Lanka Army strongly condemns such criticisms, attributing to the government, Ministry of Defence and the command of the Army, which are intended to serve own personal and political agendas, and appeals intelligent people of this country, regardless of rhetorics of such opportunists, to repose the confidence in the Army which has defended our country in the past, and is committed to do so in future, too as a professional outfit, taking all measures to prevent any resurgence of warfare.