Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 8 April 2012





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Government Gazette

Sri Lanka and Pakistan:

Military ties strengthened – Army Commander

Army Chief Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya with his Pakistani counterpart, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani

Army Chief Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, who returned to the country on Friday after a six-day visit to Pakistan, said military ties between the two countries have strengthened further and he was able to discuss various issues relating to the military with his Pakistani counterpart, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. “We discussed military matters of mutual and bilateral interest and the possibility of further increasing the exchange of training programs between the two Armies”, he told the Sunday Observer.

Army Commander Jayasuriya said Pakistan had always supported Sri Lanka in defeating LTTE terrorism and this support would continue with historical relationships between the two nations.”The Pakistan Army Comerant agreed to send Lt. General to participate at the forthcoming Defence Seminar scheduled to be held in Colombo in August and he will be one of the key speakers at the event. They will also send a Special Forces Team to take part at the next Commerant Strike exercise to be held in September this year”, he said.

He said the Army Chief General Kayani had positively responded to the requests on extending training programs for Sri Lankan Army officers in Pakistan.

“It was a fruitful visit and several bi-lateral discussions regarding military matters were held”. Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya said

Gen. Kayani, who visited Sri Lanka in January last year, had invited Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya to visit Pakistan as a gesture of goodwill and long-lasting relations that exist between the two armies.

The Army Chief said the revival of exchange of sports programs among military personnel of both armies, an old practice that existed in the past was also among one of the key issues that surfaced during cordial discussions.

A colourful guard of honour, presented by troops of the Pakistan Army at Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters at Rawalpindi was held on April 2 to welcome the Sri Lankan Army Chief. After the visiting Commander received the salute, he was requested to honour the fallen soldiers of the Pakistan Army at Yadgar-e-Shuhada. He also laid a floral wreath and honoured the dead.

Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya at the Pakistan Army’s Rehabilitation Centre

Warmly received by Gen.Kayani, the Army Chief attended a briefing on the Pakistan Army’s current roles and tasks and its contributions with special reference to its ongoing Army training modules and programs to suit modern and multifaceted threats, which tend to emerge. He also attended a special detailed briefing on existing ‘Military Co-operation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka’ by Gen. Khalid S. Wynne, Pakistan’s Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

During his visit Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya visited the Pakistan Ordnance Factory complex in Rawalpindi, in the industrial town of Wah Cantonment with 14 big factories, which produce requirements of land forces. It is the largest defence industrial complex under the Ministry of Defence in Pakistan that produces a wide range of conventional arms and ammunition.

With the amalgamation of sophisticated technology the Pakistan Ordnance Factory has ventured into the field of exports on a regular basis and has established its reputation for internationally recognised products of quality, reliability and competitive prices.

Impressed with the production processes of modern military hardware in a couple of those factories, the Army Chief made inquiries into their production techniques and effective use in warfare during his stay there.

His tour to the Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) next with a separate visit to the Taxila Museum, including several archaeological sites in the surrounding areas, provided him a rare occasion to gather knowledge on modern technological innovations and techniques.

Army Chief at the Pakistan’s School of Armour and Mechanized Warfare

HIT, which consists of six major production units, has Pakistan’s dedicated engineers and highly skilled persons, together with a 30 percent uniformed personnel. It rebuilds and modernises Tanks and ARVs, tracked vehicles, machine systems, gun barrels and provides engineering support and quality assurance.

The Army Chief visited the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Peshawar on March 3. Commandant Maj. Gen. Mazhar Jamil presented an overall picture of the PMA’s curricular as well as its courses, being conducted on behalf of trainee foreign students. Adding significance to the visit, the Commander was also able to share a couple of views with the trainees.

He visited the 19 Division Headquarters where he was briefed about how security operations in their areas of responsibility are carried out.The Commander’s visit to the Headquarters Special Service Group (HQSSG) at Tarbela, where it provides training to foreign students, including those from Sri Lanka. He met Sri Lankan officer trainees and Lt W.P.S.S Weerasinghe on behalf of the trainees greeted the Commander and thanked him for his interaction with them while receiving training in an overseas institute.At the HQSSG a mock demonstration on ‘anti-terrorist operations’ was staged at the premises, enabling the visiting Commander to witness how such operations are carried out in Pakistan, taking a number of salient features into consideration. Another significant event Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya participated was visiting the Pakistan Army’s Rehabilitation Centre.

He has told the Commandant of the Rehabilitation Centre Lt. Gen Azhar that the rehabilitation of wounded War Heroes as a noble endeavour, took a keen interest in the methodology used by the Pakistan Army to rehabilitate its disabled soldiers and shared a few of his own experiences with the Commandant of the Rehabilitation Centre.

Visiting Pakistan’s School of Armour and Mechanized Warfare (SA & MW) at Nowshera cantonment in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan was a memorable visit to Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya as it recalled his training at the school as 2nd Lieutenant. “I was very happy as I met my former course mates”, he was the chief guest at a special get-together. He was warmly received and was later shown how those vital wings in the Pakistan Army operate depending on demand for training in these fields of professionalism before the get-together.

All his former Pakistani course mates are today’s senior high ranking officers in the Pakistan Army and they too were exceptionally thrilled at the prospect of seeing their fellow-course mate again after the absence of many years and now as the Army Chief in Sri Lanka.

Lt.Gen Jayasuriya bringing back lots of memories when he was following the Young Officers Course AC-46 in 1980 to become the 1st in order of merit as the 2nd Lieutenant and his subsequent pursuit of knowledge in the Mid Career Course as a Major of Sri Lanka Army at the same prestigious SA & MW in 1988, recalled how a melange of different cultures and ethnicities during those two periods followed the courses in a remarkably pleasant milieu during the tenure of Brigadier Rao, the SA & MW Commandant at that time.

SA & MW in Nowshera, whose founding history dates back to the year 1947, is one of the elite institutions of Pakistan Army and has the honour of training more than 600 foreign students to-date. During 2000-2012, the SA & MW has provided training to 74 officers in the Sri Lanka Army in Armour Course, Junior Staff Course, Mid-Career Course, Armour Officers Advanced Technique Course and Radio and Armour Instructor Course.

Nowshera cantonment which has also been entrusted with the training of all mechanized troops of the Pakistan Army over a span of six decades has improved tremendously and is situated in the medium-sized Nowshera city, having a number of Army training establishments.


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