Addressing an event to mark the the passing out parade of the military in Diyatalawa, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the army needs to modernize to be on par with the developing world, and is to be modernised with assistance from militarily advanced nations. “It is important to maintain defence ties with militarily advanced nations such as the US and Britain. India, China and Pakistan are also important and that in Asia only the armies of India and Japan are older than our Army,” he said.
He said that in order to improve the standards of the army, Sri Lanka needed to maintain good ties with China, India and Pakistan as well as the US and Britain. “It is because of the relationship that we have with these countries that the army was able to develop.”
The prime minister said Sri Lanka hoped to launch a programme through the defence ministry on future warfare to ensure the army was geared to face any situation in future.He said the Sri Lankan Army needs to be educated on future warfare to become a modernised army by 2025.
“The army fought a war for over 30 years and they deserve all the credit,” Wickremesinghe said adding that politicians must not try to build their images through military victories, a reference to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He added that with the end of the war, the wounds from the conflict must heal and efforts must be taken in that regard. “When you have a wound, it is not easy to heal.”