President declares open National Defense College

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President declares open National Defense College


Thu, Nov 11, 2021, 08:39 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 11, Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today declared open the National Defense College established to fulfill a long-felt need.

National Defense College (NDC) was established as the premier institute that promotes strategic thinking for the senior officers of the tri-service, Police and Public Service to provide holistic knowledge in view of developing highly qualified strategic decision-makers in the realm of national security, statecraft, diplomacy and public policy to ensure national security and national development of Sri Lanka.

The NDC is located in the Mumtaz Mahal building which belongs to the Ministry of Defense at Galle Road, Colombo 03.

The President inaugurated the main building and later inspected the academic facilities. The President then launched the official website of the National Defense College, President’s Media Division said.

Experts from the University of Colombo, General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University, The Australian Defense Training College, specialists representing the USA and Pakistan were the resource persons for the Curriculum Committee.

The Chinese government has contributed to the construction of a fully equipped auditorium and the Pakistani government contributed to building a Library and the Australian Government and the Tri- Forces provided books for the library.

The first course offered by the College will be held full time for 10 months from tomorrow to August 2022. 27 officers of the Tri- forces and 04 police officers have been selected to follow the course.

“The establishment of the National Defense College in Sri Lanka fulfils a long-felt need,” the President said.

“In the past, Sri Lanka had no option but to seek vacancies in foreign educational establishments to obtain strategic education opportunities for senior military officers. Although a few officers benefitted greatly from course placements offered by friendly nations each year, many more were deprived of this opportunity,” the President further said.

“The establishment of this College therefore greatly increases the number of senior military officers who can receive such exposure each year. Senior military officers who follow high-level defense and strategic courses at the NDC will have the opportunity to assume senior command positions in the Armed Forces in the future, including even the position of Commander,” President Rajapaksa added.

Principal Advisor to President Lalith Weeratunga, Defense Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Commanders of the Tri- Forces, IGP, University Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors were also present on this occasion.

President’s address in full:

It gives me great pleasure to address you this morning at the Inauguration Ceremony of the National Defense College of Sri Lanka.

At the outset, I congratulate the Commandant and Staff of the National Defense College on the arrangements made for today’s ceremony.

The establishment of the National Defense College in Sri Lanka fulfils a long-felt need.

In the past, Sri Lanka had no option but to seek vacancies in foreign educational establishments to obtain strategic education opportunities for senior military officers.

Although a few officers benefitted greatly from course placements offered by friendly nations each year, many more were deprived of this opportunity.

The establishment of this College therefore greatly increases the number of senior military officers who can receive such exposure each year.

Senior military officers who follow high level defense and strategic courses at the NDC will have the opportunity to assume senior command positions in the Armed Forces in the future, including even the position of Commander.

The exposure provided by the National Defense College to such officers will be essential in creating the strategic mindset essential for success in such positions.

It is also my hope that the National Defense College will attract senior military officers from other countries.

They would benefit from the high quality of the education it imparts and add an international perspective and vibrancy to their cohorts.

Certain courses of study provided by the National Defense College will also be open to senior Police officers and public service officials.

I trust that they will avail themselves of the opportunity to follow the courses of study made available at the NDC, which is also accredited to the General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University for the awarding of postgraduate degrees.

Possessing a thorough understanding of strategy is extremely important when considering Sri Lanka’s geostrategic location in the Indian Ocean that links the East and West.

This positioning provides Sri Lanka with multiple opportunities as well as challenges.

Senior officers in the military as well as in the public sector should be aware of these strategic considerations, as well as the Government’s policies and its strategies regarding them.

I am confident that those who attend this National Defense College will receive not only a deep grounding in these aspects, but also improve their ability to think strategically, see the larger picture, and innovate appropriately.

In this context, I congratulate the 27 senior military and 4 police personnel who will take part in the NDC’s Inaugural Course.

The experience you will have at this institution will stand you in good stead for your future careers, and I am confident you will set a strong example for all those who follow you at this institution.

In concluding, I take this opportunity once again to commend the hard work and efforts of the Commandant and Staff of the National Defense College, as well as all those involved in guiding the establishment of this institution.

I wish you all success.

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