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Monday June 27th, 2022

Fonseka says giving military training to all is too costly

Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka/

ECONOMYNEX – Former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka is saying that giving military training for everyone above the age of 18 is not financially possible for the government.

Speaking in Parliament, he said that in order to properly train a soldier it takes at least six months and the average cost for training is around LKR750,000 per person.

So he said there are about 3.5 to 4 million Sri Lankans in the age group 18-26 which could be trained, as beyond that age group it is impossible to train people.

However, he said to train just 100,000 without looking at the total 3.5 million it would cost the government Rs 75 billion, which the government doesn’t have to spend on such things.

“The minister has to be realistic and responsible without telling fairy tales,” he added.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarath Weerasekara said that he will submit to parliament a proposal to provide military training for all citizens over 18 years of age

Weerasekara told the privately-owned Sirasa TV this morning that the objective of his proposal is to use military training for personality development and to create a law-abiding society.

“Nobody should fear the idea of military training. It’s with military training that a man can learn to stand up straight and look a person in the eye. It builds personality and instils leadership qualities, respect for the law, discipline, and a sense of responsibility. These are the expected outcomes. Nobody should be apprehensive of it,” he said.

Moreover, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday at the cabinet briefing that the idea to provide military training for all citizens over 18 years of age is only a proposal presented to the government, and it is a practice in some of the so-called five-star democracies in the world.

He said that in order to look into that proposal the relationship between the political surroundings in our country and the administrative sector should be analyzed first.

“There is nothing wrong in exploring whether there is a need for such a thing,” he added at the weekly cabinet briefing.

Because he said it is implemented even in the so-called five-star democratic countries in the world and people who reject it can face penalties. (Colombo/Jan20/2021)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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