We want to develop our disaster management sector to be on par with global standards; therefore, we intend to develop the Disaster Management Centre as a global responder to assist countries affected by disasters. We have made this a priority, stated the State Minister of Defence Hon. Premitha Bandara Tennakoon during a discussion with a US National Guard delegation that met him at his office in Colombo today (May 17).
The State Minister, while highlighting the importance of the need to develop civil-military coordination, also said that the Sri Lankan military will be gradually right-sized. He stressed the importance of adopting new and emerging technologies in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
The US delegation head, Maj. Gen. John P Hronek said that they would assist at tactical and operational levels in training and emergency response during disaster situations.
The importance of establishing a building code to minimize damages and introducing an alarm system through mobile phones were also among the topics discussed during the discussion.
Maj. Gen. John P Hronek is the Adjutant General for the State of Montana; serving as Commander of the Montana National Guard and the Director of the Department of Military Affairs.
Defence Ministry’s Senior Assistant Secretary (Defence) Harsha Withanarachchi, Director General of the Disaster Management Centre, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Sudantha Ranasinghe and Defence attaché of the US embassy in Colombo, Lt. Col. Anthony C. Nelson were also among those present at the discussion.