‘Sri Lanka Army Way Forward Strategy 2020-2025’ Formally Launched at Army HQ

The Army, turning a new lease of life in its march to the future and its constant need for adaptation to shifting conditions and circumstances in a world where different threat perceptions, chance, uncertainty, and ambiguity dominate, launched its much-researched and meticulously compiled ‘Sri Lanka Army Way Forward Strategy 2020-2025’ (SLAWFS) policy document at the Army HQ this morning (22) in the presence of the Principal Adviser to HE the President, Mr Lalith Weeratunge as the Chief Guest and Secretary Defence, Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne as a distinguished guest, together with the project’s visionary, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of  Defence Staff and Commander of the Army.
The SLAWFS, a sustained and collective effort of civil-military scholars for more than 10 months is slated to explore and assist upgrade the Army military strategy for the next five years with special focus on modernization taking place in the defence spectrum world-wide, amid multiple and complex global threat landscapes to be in line with fast changing and multifaceted global conditions and circumstances.  
Major General Nishantha Hearth, Commandant, Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) at the start gave a preamble of the SLAWFS-2020-2025 to the gathering and outlined how the product saw the light of day after a series of academic and professional brainstorming sessions of months and months, attended and contributed by retired veterans, university dons, defence analysts and strategists, former Army Commanders, intellectuals, internationally and locally-reputed civil experts, Senior Officers at all SFHQ levels and a wide array of professional consultants.
Next, the architect behind the project, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva spoke out his mind and stressed the importance of devising strategies, associated with core values and assessment of real target objectives in the wake of constantly changing global warfare environment and modernizing of Army strategies as Sri Lanka’s strategic geographic location and other factors of global significance warrant the need for a well-documented strategic approach as the largest land force in the island. The largest disciplined human resource in the country, the Sri Lanka Army, well conceived of multiple and complex global threat landscape and the imperative need for adaptation to dramatic transformation needs to be in constant touch with ever-changing battlefield scenarios while exploring various strategies to overcome such challenges. This is a need of the hour for strategic thinking and planning, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva highlighted.
After several rounds of preliminary discussions at the Directorate of Training and military academic forums, a blueprint was at first forwarded and the formal inaugural Phase 1 of the project, headed by the Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army got underway earlier on 6 May 2020 at the Army Headquarters on the same lines of identified objectives, mandatory for formulation of such strategy.
The brief address of the Army Chief to the occasion followed the distribution of first maiden copies of the SLAWFS-2020-2025 by its architect, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva to the day’s Chief Guest, Principal Presidential Adviser, Mr Lalith Weeratunge and the Secretary Defence, Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, marking a new turning point in military annals.
The Chief Guest, Mr Lalith Weeratunge afterwards in his address underscored the importance of having a strategic preparedness for the country's biggest land force. Theoretical aspects of the SLAWFS of the Army, methods of deriving the mission-oriented tasks conceptualization/operationalization and Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) analysis provide an impetus to the new guidance covering vital strategic perspectives in the context of today’s world of electronic weaponry, blurred battle lines and amorphous enemies, he pointed out. Towards the conclusion, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva extending his gratitude awarded symbolic mementos to both Mr Lalith Weeratunga and Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne.
The SLAWFS encompasses continued training and preparedness, adoptability and credibility, respectability, personal development, professional progress, welfare implementation, retirement, nation-building strategy, to be in line with HE the President's vision that touches on alertness, confidence and national security as priorities. It also covers a number of salient points that deals with the stereotype all time preparedness for any eventuality, operational capability, emergencies, infrastructure needs, expansion of specific sectors, procurements, etc. 


A selective group of Senior Officers of the Army Headquarters, including Major General Prabhath Dematanpitiya, Chief of Staff, Major General Nishantha Herath, Deputy Chief of Staff, Commandant, DSCSC took part in the simple launching ceremony.
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