Friday, August 1, 2008

Secretary Defence pays tribute to valiant soldiers in Mannar & Wanni

"Bestow rewards without regard to customary rules, issue orders without regard to prescribed procedures" - Sun Tzu

Untiring Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, military heavyweights, Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka and senior Army officers Thursday (31) morning extended their warm greetings and plaudits to advancing ground troops in the Mannar & Vavuniya sector for their string of military successes in the most recent past. Those sentiments were conveyed to 58 Division Commanders and other Wanni based Commanders during meetings the visiting team has had today in Mannar and Vavuniya.

Thursday (31) morning's helitour to Mannar area by this top-level defence official and military chiefs as first leg of the tour was also meant to promote the morale of the ground troops fighting the most ruthless terror outfit in the world further, and map out future strategies to continue their forward march, in order to salvage besieged Tamil civilians in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu districts while bringing peace to the north of Sri Lanka.

The visiting Defence Secretary and military chiefs on arrival in Mannar were received by Brigadier Channa Gunatillake, Commander, Mannar Area Headquarters and the livewire behind ongoing Mannar north operations (Task Force 1), Brigadier Shavindra Silva who afterwards gave a briefing on the status quo of the continuing humanitarian operations to the visiting team.

Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa hailing the military tours de force of valiant troops in the area, during the brief meeting with Division, Brigade and unit commanders in the 58 Division office, wanted all ground commanders to extend his appreciation and warm greetings to troops and their commanders engaged in operations. Mr. Rajapaksa, giving a patient hearing to the ground commanders encouraged them to further boost the morale of the soldiers and plan future operations accordingly to wrest control of Tiger (LTTE) held areas eliminating terrorism from the two provinces. Mr. Rajapaksa also touched on the question of resettlement of civilians arriving in cleared areas following LTTE threats and a few other related issues.

Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, Brigadier Shavindra Silva and several other senior officers contributed to the discussions at 58 Division office.

Later on Mr. Rajapaksa and the military duo flew to Security Forces Headquarters Wanni (SFHQ-W) in Vavuniya where Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander, (SFHQ-W) after receipt of them, briefed them on current security developments in the whole of Wanni.

Mr. Rajapaksa addressing all Divisional commanders present at the venue evaluated the progress of continuing humanitarian operations and paid tribute to all ground commanders and soldiers for their achievements in the north of Welioya and elsewhere. Since the operations are reaching a very decisive phase, he reminded, that concerted efforts should be made to liberate trapped civilians living under LTTE diktats. Giving his concern over exodus of masses into cleared areas, Mr. Rajapaksa pointed out the importance of resettling them in a proper manner without letting them to fall prey to isolated Tiger elements that might infiltrate upon fall of those areas.

Courtesy : SL Army

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