He said this in response to queries made regarding a news article published in a web site stating that the army commander had told close officers that if media personnel are given foreign trips you could get them to do anything.
He further said, “The media report is false. Nowadays due to the competition for the post of the next Chief of Staff appointment, I feel someone wants to tarnish my image and is trying to create a conflict with our friends in the Media field.”
“The whole story is that on 3rd January I had a “Call On” with six retiring Regimental Sergeant Majors who are retiring after 22 plus years of service. It was attended by Maj Gen Shavendra Silva and Maj Gen Devinda Perera. After about 15 minutes of listening to them I appreciated their dedicated service to the Army/Country at war and how they maintained their Discipline.
Then we talked about where our Army Stands today after 10 years of War Internationally/Locally. We are a great Army who eradicated terrorism and thought many lessons. Then we rehabilitated more than 1300 Ex LTTE carders and reintegrated them to society.
I said, now internationally we are recommended-due to our commitments in UN Peace Keeping operations in Mali, Lebanon, Sudan etc. which many don’t know. So, I wanted to get publicity for these operations by sending a few selected Media Professionals (e.g. Mr Bandula Jayasekara of Pethikada Sirasa) in the near future.
Thereby I expected the Media Staff to learn first-hand on what and how we contribute to world peace through UN Peacekeeping. That was my aim..”