President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday emphasized that in the future war may occur not only on land, air and sea but also in cyberspace, adding that our military should be equipped with the necessary knowledge to face such technological warfare.
Pointing out that discipline, training and knowledge are needed to create a successful army, he said.
President said that Sir John Kotelawala Defence University is already fulfilling all these requirements.
The President made these comments while participating in a ceremony held yesterday (25) to present the Presidential Colours and University Colors to General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.
A military salute was accorded to the President who arrived at the Kotelawala Defense University and an interfaith blessing was also held for the President’s colors and the university’s flags. Thereafter, President Ranil Wickremesinghe made a special statement and presented the Presidential Colours and University Colous to General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.
Later, the Vice-Chancellor of the Kotalawala Defence University, Major General Milinda Peiris, made a special statement and presented the university flag and colours. The President also visited the Sir John Kotelawala Museum and made a note in the commemorative book of special guests. A special commemorative gift was also presented to the President.
Expressing his views at this ceremony, President Wickremesinghe said, “Today, the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University has gained great fame at home and abroad. Your potential as a Defence University has been proved. This university holds significant importance. If an army is led by its commander, that army depends on his leadership. And that army needs discipline. An army cannot advance without discipline. An army can advance only with proper discipline. However, an army cannot be led by discipline alone. Training is required along with discipline. An army is not successful just because it has discipline and training. That army must have knowledge. It must have military knowledge and local knowledge. Success comes with that knowledge. The leaders here are given discipline, training and knowledge. From there, the army gives leadership to its own battalions and other divisions. Some become military commanders. Others go and work in different sectors equipped with this degree”. The President said that it was because of General Sir John Kotelawala that it was possible to establish the KDU.
“At the time some questioned as to why we need such a university as there was no war. However, few years later we had to face a war. Hence, this university has developed from the start thanks to Sir John Kotelawala who donated this premises and to General Derrick Perera the founder member of this university. This university has gained local and international acclaim. Many of the valiant servicemen were products of the KDU. Therefore, we must protect this university. I also urge you to produce more capable officers to our security forces from this university.”
The President said that such universities are needed for a country, adding that at the time the KDU was established there weren’t many defence universities around the world. “I have looked into the subjects that are taught at this university and they are very good subjects. There are also many excellent lecturers at this university. This is a hidden university. Many people do not know the value of this. But this university is not restricted only to the forces. Civilian students are recruited here. That is very good.
Many have been given the opportunity to further their education. Therefore, I do not agree with the criticisms made about this university.”
The President also noted that the KDU is not the only university that caters to the development of
military officers. “Not only this university, but also a Staff College been established to provide training to military officers. All these institutions are necessary for our defense education. We must protect all these institutions. The world is changing and in the future we won’t see the sort of war that we have experienced in the past. New technology, new knowledge is developing. Especially the war is not limited to land, air and sea. Cyber technology is also developing. Also, climate change should be taken into consideration when you engage in your duties. This knowledge is what you need. So I wish all of you who are receiving these colours today, the very best,”President Wickremesinghe said.
Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha, Chief of Staff to the President and Senior Advisor to the President on National Security Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary of Defense General Kamal Gunaratne (retired), Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva, tri forces commanders, Inspector General of Police and Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof. Sampath Amaratunga and special guests including University Vice-Chancellors attended the event.