Published on: March 3, 2023

A change of government can only be brought about through a parliamentary election and the streets are not an option for parliament

• Positive results on the country’s economy soon – President says in Trincomalee

President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the only way to bring about a change of government is through a parliamentary election and not through street protests, stating that the latter is not a viable option for the parliament.

The President emphasized that a nation can become anarchic due to an economic collapse and urged everyone to prioritize safeguarding both the constitution and the economy of the country.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said this while addressing the commissioning ceremony of the Air Force Officer Cadets at the Trincomalee Air Force Base this morning (03).

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who arrived at Trincomalee Air Force Base, was received with air force honours.

Meanwhile, 40 Officer Cadets including three females were commissioned as Officers of the Sri Lanka Air Force by the Chief Guest, and received their ceremonial swords, which symbolizes their status as Commissioned Officers.

Thereafter, flying brevets were pinned on 13 pilot officers and 07 trophies are awarded for special achievements.

Two Officer Cadets who have shown exceptional performance were awarded the Sword of Eagle for the best student of General Duties Pilot Branch and the Sword of honour for the overall best student among all branches.

The President also posed for a group photograph with the newly commissioned officers and senior officers.

The Sri Lanka Air Force Band rendered a special performance and the parachute display adding colour to the event.

Addressing the gathering, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said,

“I would like to first congratulate the Air Force all of you present here today.

After completing your education, you decided to join the Air Force and have successfully completed your training, leading you to this point in your career. It brings great joy not only to you, but also to your parents, that you have been able to overcome the challenges and join the ranks of the Forces. You may even be the first person from your village to become an Air Force Officer, which is a remarkable achievement.

However, with this achievement comes a great responsibility to uphold the dignity of your profession and avoid any activities that could tarnish its image. It is imperative that you remain vigilant and conduct yourself in a manner that reflects positively on the Air Force. Any misstep or incident that causes harm to the image of your profession will not only bring disrepute to yourself, but also to the Air Force as a whole. Therefore, it is your duty to maintain the highest standards of professionalism at all times.

Upon taking office, you made a solemn vow to uphold the constitution, and as members of the Air Force, you also took an oath. It is now your duty to ensure the protection of the constitution, and in doing so, protect the country as well. It is crucial to understand that without a country, the constitution holds no value and is merely a useless piece of paper.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to safeguard both the country and the constitution, as they are inextricably linked. Your commitment to protecting the constitution should be unwavering, as any harm inflicted upon it could have severe consequences for the nation. With your determination and dedication, you can help to ensure the continued prosperity and stability of the country, and uphold the values enshrined in the constitution.

As per the oath you took, it is imperative that you act with utmost loyalty towards the country, the constitution, and the republic. The very first paragraph of the constitution emphasizes the need to protect the unity of the country, which places a significant responsibility on your shoulders.

Therefore, it is your duty to remain committed to the preservation of the country’s unity and sovereignty, which is essential to the overall well-being of the nation. You must act in a manner that is consistent with your oath, and remain vigilant against any threats to the country’s security and integrity. With your unwavering loyalty and commitment, you can help to protect the country, uphold the constitution, and maintain the unity and prosperity of the nation.

The constitution is a crucial document that covers essential matters related to the sovereignty of the people, the national flag, and the national anthem. All of these are included to ensure the security and protection of the country, and there is simply no room for any activity that may jeopardize the nation’s sovereignty and independence.

During the period between 1980 to 2009, the country faced significant threats to its unity and territorial integrity. It was during this time that the armed forces and the police made immense sacrifices to safeguard the nation. Their unwavering commitment and dedication helped to protect the country’s sovereignty and independence, and ensured that its people could live in peace and security.

In order to move forward as a united and prosperous country, all individuals regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or cultural background must work together. Whether Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu or Muslim, it is essential that all citizens come together to work towards the greater good of the nation. Only by working together can we build a stronger, more prosperous future for our country and its people.

The legitimacy of Sri Lanka’s government is established by the executive, legislature, and judiciary. The judiciary plays a crucial role in upholding and enforcing the laws enacted by the legislature. All three institutions are focused on safeguarding Sri Lanka’s constitution and ensuring that the country functions in accordance with its laws and regulations.

It is the responsibility of every citizen to help protect these institutions, which are essential to the proper functioning of the government and the preservation of Sri Lanka’s democracy. Without these institutions, there can be no assurance that the country will remain stable and secure.

It is important to note that any changes to the government must be made through the proper channels, such as a parliamentary election. The streets are not an option for the parliament, and any attempt to subvert the established process would be a violation of Sri Lanka’s constitution and the rule of law.

I am deeply grateful to the armed forces for their role in protecting the Parliament last June. As we have seen in other countries, when a parliament is not safeguarded, chaos and anarchy can quickly ensue. Similarly, a country without a strong economy is also at risk of devolving into chaos.

It is therefore the responsibility of all of us to work together to protect both the constitution and the economy of our country. In recent days, I have met with various organizations to discuss strategies for boosting the economy, and I am confident that our efforts will yield positive results in the near future.

By protecting our country and upholding its constitution, we can ensure that our democracy remains strong and vibrant. To all of the newly-minted Air Force members here today, I wish you a prosperous and fulfilling future.”

The Passing Out Parade held at the Air Force Base was attended by a total of 37 Commissioned officers, including three female officers, and 318 other ranks.

During the Passing Out Parade at the Air Force Base, President Ranil Wickremesinghe awarded the commissioned Air Force officers with the Sword of Honour. The ceremony was accompanied by special performances from the Air Force Bands and the Parachute Squadron.

State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, President’s Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President on National Security Sagala Ratnayake, Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath, Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne (Retired), Air Force Chief Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, and other officials were present on this occasion.


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