Addressing soldiers gathered for the army's 62nd anniversary parade, army commander, Jagath Jayasuriya, congratulated them on the 'major development role' they are purported to have played in the North-East.
Comparing such development work to the 'humanitarian operation' the army conducted in 2009 - for which the international community is urging an indepedent investigation into credible allegations of war crimes - Jayasuriya urged the troops to work harder towards 'nation building'.
Jayasuriya reminded his juniors, that under the watchful eye of the defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, the army had surpassed itself, with a military capability extending to 'resettlement, infrastructure building, field constructions, agricultural projects, engineering tasks across the country' as well as being available as 'collective labour to various other governmental development efforts'.
Ending the address with his blessings, Jayasuriya added,
"May you all have courage and strength. The Army will then inevitably receive the nation's highest tribute."