By Harishandra Gunaratna
Army Commander Lt.Gen. Shevendra Silva, yesterday, said it was imperative that intelligence capability of the army be enhanced to meet the current security requirement of the country.
Addressing the media in Colombo, the newly appointed army commander said the military intelligence would undergo some changes.
Lt.Gen Silva was of the opinion that the army should have a robust intelligence arm to overcome terrorist threats faced by the country and he as the commander would ensure that the need was fulfilled.
Responding to queries about western powers objecting to his appointment as the army commander, Lt. Gen. Silva said that they were free to express their concerns and make allegations, but he was not bothered.
He said it was not the first time that those powers had tried to interfere with affairs Sri Lanka.
President Maithripala Sirisena appointed him as the commander of the army taking into consideration a requirement of the country, he added.
Asked about the allegations of war crimes made by certain countries, the commander said that the same people had made a hue and cry about the skeletal remains found in the Mannar mass graves, but they were disappointed in the end.
” My main concern as the army commander is protecting the sovereignty of the country and it’s people,” Silva said.
Lt.Gen Silva said, the army had no plans to dismantle any of the camps or downsize them.
When told that some Tamil politicians had raised concerns about his appointment as the commander and alleged that he was a commander of the Sinhalese, Lt. Ge, Silva stressed that ” I am the army commander for the entire nation and not for one ethnic group. “I spent my childhood in the township Matale, where I grew up with Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and lived in harmony and I understand the feelings of all those communities.