Commander of the Navy addresses student officers of DSCSC Course No. 9

The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne addressed the student officers of the Course Number 9 at the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) on 10th December 2015. He was welcomed on arrival by the Commandant DSCSC, Major General Udaya Perera and introduced to the DSCSC staff and the student officers.

The speech, titled 'Ocean is Our Last Frontier: Role of the Sri Lanka Navy in Strategizing the Future', focused on the role of the Navy in harnessing the maximum potential of the ocean. Drawing attention to the strategic position of the island-nation in the Indian Ocean, the Navy Commander envisaged a sound maritime strategy for Sri Lanka as it possesses all the pre-requisites to become a very influential maritime hub in the region. He elaborated on the traditional and non-traditional maritime security threats that include maritime terrorism, maritime piracy, drug trafficking, human smuggling, IUU fishing, and marine pollution as well as challenges in undertaking mass Search and Rescue (SAR) operations and responding to oil and chemical spills which both the Navy and the Coast Guard have to confront together in mapping out a grand maritime strategy. He also drew upon the keynote address made by the Prime Minister, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe at the recently concluded sixth Galle Dialogue international maritime conference which illustrated the salient points in a sound national maritime policy.

The veteran in Special Forces operations was generous in offering some sound advice to the future military leaders besides providing them with valuable academic inputs. He advocated learning as a never ending process, inculcating the habit of reading, having a good code of conduct and a set of ethics, leading by example and adopting a downward looking policy i.e. drawing out the best in junior officers rather than an upward looking policy i.e. seeking only promotions, perks and privileges for personal benefit. The Commander concluded his well-presented speech quoting a much respected Indian Army Chief, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who has stated: 'Professional knowledge and professional competence are the main attributes of leadership. Unless you know, and the men you command know that you know your job, you will never be a leader.'

The participants were highly impressed by the lucid presentation made by the Navy Commander and they posed a range of questions across a wide maritime spectrum, seeking further in-depth clarification. The Navy Commander was very pleased to share his wealth of experience accrued in his illustrious naval career with aspiring military personnel desirous of holding command and staff positions in respective services on completion of their passed staff college (psc) qualification.

The speech was delivered at the main auditorium of the DSCSC with the participation of the tri-forces and foreign officers undergoing their staff training at the institution. The Navy Commander was also presented with a special memento in appreciation of his gracious presence and delivering a very informative speech.