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Sri Lankan president vows to protect 'hard-earned dignity' of army

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena pledged to protect the country’s military, stating that he “will not allow anyone to degrade the armed forces in any way”.

Addressing the unveiling of a “War Hero Monument” at Panagoda on Monday, Mr Sirisena declared:

“I will not let the quality and standards of the Armed Forces deteriorate in any way, nor would I allow any forces to degrade the image of the hard-earned dignity of the Sri Lankan armed forces”.

Referring to his willingness to increase the number of Sri Lankan troops participating in UN peacekeeping missions, the president added:

“The world has recognized your services, and the UN positively responded to my request for allocation of more and more openings for our servicemen to serve in peace-keeping contingents. They would certainly assist us”.

“Despite various criticisms, in front of  this Monument, I assure you that our armed forces would not in any way be weakened, nor it be subjected to any degradation under me,” added Mr Sirisena.

The president also reflected on the end of the armed conflict on the island, stating that “having been exposed and managed to escape from five such LTTE terrorist atrocities, [I] know very well the ferocity and complex nature of terrorism and its fallout”. "No more room should be left for it to rise its head again,” he added.

He went on to discuss the country’s defence budget, vowing that “all possible support would be extended to enhance quality, professionalism and skills among our servicemen”. “Maintenance, renovations and re-designing, enhancement of professional quality and capacity of the forces need to be properly evaluated and I will without fail fulfill those needs for betterment of our soldiers,” said Mr Sirisena.

See similar comments by Mr Sirisena last week in our post:
Sri Lanka president vows he will ‘not allow anyone to disgrace war victory’ (21 Oct 2015)

Also see our earlier posts:

Minister guarantees protection of Sri Lanka’s ‘war heroes’ (06 Oct 2015)

Sri Lankan ministers vow to protect army against war crimes charges (04 Oct 2015)

Triumphant return for president who 'achieved a great victory' at UNHRC, as he pledges 'domestic inquiry' (03 Oct 2015)

‘I saved Rajapaksa from the electric chair’ claims Ranil (03 Oct 2015)