President Ranil Wickremesinghe says Sri Lanka should adopt a non-aligned foreign policy in dealing with the international community, as an island.
The President said Sri Lanka can be elevated further in the international sphere by adopting a non-aligned foreign policy rather than supporting or being dependent on any powerful country or group of countries.
President Wickremesinghe made these observations this morning (17) while taking part in the 97th Passing out Parade of the cadet officers of the Diyatalawa Military Academy.
351 cadet officers who completed training at the Diyatalawa Military Academy were commissioned at the passing out ceremony.
Cadet officers from four foreign countries who received their training at the Diyatalawa Military Academy were also among those who were commissioned.
The Commander-in-Chief, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who arrived at the Military Academy, was received amidst customary military pomp and pageantry.
The day’s events commenced with the President laying floral tributes at the war heroes’ memorial at the Diyatalawa Military Academy.
After the inspection of the parade, President Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the championship flag to the best cadet team and swords to the cadet officers.
The President also posed for a group photo with the commissioned cadets and planted a ‘Na’ sapling on the college premises to mark his visit.
The statement made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe is as follows:
Today is a very important day for you all as you complete your training at the Diyatalawa Military Academy. But it is a new beginning in your life for you will commence serving as regular members of the Army.
As the leaders of the Sri Lanka Army, you also have a responsibility of protecting the Army, and its soldiers and protect the republic from the enemy. It is entrusted to you by the republic and it is also of paramount importance to protect the honour and reputation of the institution where you were being trained.
As a country, we are not aligned or in any agreement with the world powers as we are an island nation. We should be friendly with all countries.
You are entrusted with the responsibility to protect this country and you have the capacity to protect the country from internal as well as external influences. The Army which you enroll into has war experiences including international warfare experiences since they are together with the UN Forces taking part in the operations in the state of Mali.
Hence you have the capacity to face any kind of challenge that may come in the future and I, therefore, entrust you with that responsibility to move forward strongly.
State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Thennakoon, Chief of President’s Staff and Presidents’ Senior Adviser on National Security Sagala Rathnayake Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne (retd), Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva, Army Commander Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage and Diyatalawa Military Academy Commandant Major General Niyangoda were present at the event.