March 17, 2020. At the Patriot Park Conference and Exhibition Centre (CEC), representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defence and members of the military-diplomatic corps, accredited in the Russian Federation, met for the second time this year to discuss the progress of the preparations for the International Army Games-2020, which will take place between August 23 and September 5, 2020.
The Conference was presided over by Colonel General Ivan A. Buvaltsev, Head of the Main Directorate of the Combat Training of the Russian Ministry of Defence, who was one of the authors of the concept of the Army Games and its Tank Biathlon competition, which was organized and held in Russia for the first time in 2015.
Sri Lanka, which is working towards hosting the Field Kitchen competition of the Army Games for the first time, was represented by Gp Capt Uditha Piyasena, Counsellor, Defence, at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Moscow. As one of the co-organizing countries, Sri Lanka was given an honorary seat in the presidium, during the conference, which was then followed by a working session of the Organization Committee Council and a dinner, hosted on behalf of the Minister of Defence of Russia.
All precautions were taken to keep the participants of the conference safe in this difficult situation with the spread of the COVID-19 infection around the world. The participants were checked by medical doctors to measure their body temperature, sanitizers and face masks were provided at the venue as well. Representatives of the Ministries of Defence of the other co-organizing countries, such as India, Iran, China, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, joined the conference through the videoconference facility.
Each hosting country made its presentation during the conference. Lt Col Maxim Antonov, who visited the competition site in Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa) during the first reconnaissance trip, informed the participants of its results. He highlighted that they were very much impressed at the facilities presented to them and that they felt that even though this was the first time Sri Lanka was hosting this event, they were of the opinion that the event could be held in Sri Lanka even within a very short period of time.
In addition to the main briefing, Gp Capt Uditha Piyasena participated in the discussion of the amendments to the Regulations on judging and conducts of the competitions and proposals of other co-organizing countries to finalize their text.
Sri Lanka was warmly welcomed to the International Organizational Committee Council and praised for its commitment to develop military cooperation in the peaceful competitive atmosphere of the Games. It is also noted that these Games presents the participants with a wonderful opportunity to gain more publicity for their countries and cultures on the international arena while raising the prestige of the Armed Forces, developing and sharpening their professional skills, and building stronger ties with the military of other countries, who know the true value of peace better than anybody else.