25 September, 2023


How Come Mr. President Forgot Some Critical Core Values Of Officer Cadets?

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Citizen Silva in the Sunday Times column “Monthly Musings” titled, ‘Discipline, teamwork and motivation’, refers to the speech made by the President at the Military Academy in Diyatalawa, where he was chief guest at the passing out parade of the army’s newly commissioned officers. The President had felt it important to remind the newly graduated officers that having a very high degree of discipline is one of the most important aspects of a military officer’s life. He had also pointed out that for an officer to succeed, no matter how capable or skilled they are as individuals, they will not be able to succeed without the support of others.

Citizen Silva then goes on to summarise the advice that our President gave these future military leaders, was simply this: “Discipline yourself, mould a great team and inspire your subordinates. Once you have mastered these tenets, people will naturally follow you.

And this is what we expected from our President when he was elected into office in November 2019. Here was a disciplined military officer who would assemble a capable and disciplined team — and then inspire them (and us) to achieve great things for our country”.

How come the critical core leadership values expected by the President ( and even by the civil society and citizens of Sri Lanka) did not refer to the following Core Values expected of future leaders of this disciplined, effectively team working guardians of our nation’s security, territorial integrity and prosperity of Mother Lanka:

1. Abide by, uphold and respect at all times the Rule of Law, Justice and Democratic Rights embedded in the Constitution and Statues

2. Strictly adhere to the Oath of Office and the Code of Military Conduct and Ethics

3. Be conscious of the long term vision and develop the ability to think of long term goals validating all decisions taken daily, being conscious of the risks and sensitivities associated with such decisions in the longer term by way of possible implications and outcomes

4. Be Professionals and take decisions based only on the best available information, knowledge, skills, experiences (learning lessons from success and failures of the past), after listening to the voices of best practice advice by superiors and wiser counsel

5. Be selfless in service and ensure that all actions are respectful of others, fair, reasonable and are taken upholding, equity, equality and without prejudice by any persons or segments of society

6. Practice integrity and honesty and take positive corrective action against corruption and non compliance with laws and regulations irrespective of status and position

7. Commitment to duty, fulfill obligations and accountability of office and seek excellence in outcomes and never be satisfied with the second best

Citizens live in hope that these Core Values will be upheld not only by the newly enlisted Officer Cadets but by all services personnel now holding key governance positions in this country whilst in service or post retirement.

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Latest comments

  • 14

    The armed forces officer corps are no longer the principled elite they used to be. Most of them are in it for the pension and glamorous uniform. Just like Gota, who ran away but came back to steal Sarath Fonseka’s glory. Can such a man talk about discipline? Do crocodiles talk about the rights of chickens?

    • 4

      old codger

      ” Just like Gota, who ran away but came back to steal Sarath Fonseka’s glory. “

      Did you know what happened to Kamala Gunaratne while he was commanding a garison in Mankulam? LTTE attacked heavily fortified Mangulam garrison which was completely destroyed by Bata wearing LTTE’s Baby Brigade.

      Kamala (Gunaratne) ran for HER life for a few days. If these ladies are being appointed to Army’s top post (secretary of defense) why not Gota?

  • 11

    Chandra Jayaratne, this is a luke-warm essay, which pussyfoots around the bogus aura of Gota.

    Our now reviled President has proven over and over again, that he is an incompetent, a psychopath and a nepotistic scoundrel, who is completely unfit for the role he was elected to perform. By his actions, Gota has amply demonstrated that he doesn’t practise what he has preached to the new commissioned officers of the SL Army, and one can only pray that these new graduates will not follow in his wretched footsteps.

    With Mahinda now nearly kaput (as his gait in Thirupathi demonstrated), Gota must be getting his loyalists and military ducks in a row to counter the massive wave of protests and defiance from the people, the SLFP MPs, some of his SLPP MP-s and Ministers; but this is unlikely to gain any traction in the face of the vast uprising that awaits him.

  • 13

    May be Prez was only preaching but never admitted to practise these. We have many like these, politicos, religious leaders dabbling in politics and preaching. How many are sincere.
    Yes we have only to : As “Citizens live in hope that these Core Values will be upheld.”
    When is the question when the President pardons murderers, judiciary insulters, et al and even elevate them.

    • 10

      contd: When the Prez is so obtuse as to as yet not listen to sane advice on the fertilizer fiasco, but removes truth-sayers from office, but keep others of “Yes Sir” frame of mind entrenched.
      And many more.

  • 8

    These speeches are only speeches to satisfy the world but his instructions are much different. He ordered to kill all those who surrendered fighters and those parents who handed over to the military including children. This is the discipline he maintained through out his carrier. Even the white van abductions and murders including Lasantha murder are based those principles. He himself proved that when he threatened Harin Fernando with his two faces and with the release of mass murderer ignoring the judicial decision.
    It is absurd to expect anything better from this President.

  • 6

    Mr. CJ, so sorry, as per Presidential communique clarification, those core values are expected from public only.

  • 7

    Already the idling army costs the largest portion of the annual budget. Why do we want an army for – is it to suppress civilian protests against injustice/cost of living. We will never “go to war,” ever.
    These able bodied men/women should be made use of in development projects.

  • 5

    Gota’s “bahubootha katha”! Gota is talking about himself as he had to have his brother’s support to come back to SL from his gas station job in the US to become the secretary of defense and now the president. He is only displaying his ignorance and his weakness. Now he has surrounded himself with Cabal-Rala, Sarath Weerasekera, Nalaka Godahewa types who are thugs and crooks.

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