The Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera awarded the prizes, certificates and plaques to the winners of the Sri Lanka Navy Essay Competition - 2014 at a function held at the auditorium of SLNS Parakrama on 23rd June 2015. The inaugural edition of the SLN's first ever academic magazine, Sri Lanka Navy Journal, which carries the prize winning essays as well as a host of informative articles of academic interest, was also launched to coincide with the event.
One hundred and thirty-six entries had been received for the final selection from the respective Naval Commands for the essay competition conducted under three categories: (1) Sailors (Sinhala medium), (2) Lieutenant Commanders & below (English medium) and (3) Commanders & above (English medium). Each category carried attractive cash awards of Rs. 100,000/= as the first prize, Rs. 75,000/= as the second prize and Rs. 50,000/= as the third prize. Officers' entries were evaluated by a board consisting of three senior retired naval officers, Admiral HCAC Tissera (retd), Admiral JSK Colombage (retd) and Rear Admiral SR Samaratunge (retd) while sailors' entries were evaluated by a panel of judges from the Sri Lanka Naval Association.
The first prize of the Sailors Category was won by Leading Communicator KGS Fernando for his essay on "Senior sailors' role in moulding a disciplined, civic-minded, exemplary complement of sailors". The second prize was won by Communicator AASN Kumara for his essay on "Sri Lanka Navy's role in protecting Sri Lanka's sea area: Challenges and Solutions". The third prize was won by Petty Officer MPR Priyantha for his essay on "Humanity's responsibility in preventing environmental damage caused by technological development".
The first prize of the Lieutenant Commander & below category was won by Lieutenant AADM DIAS for his essay on "What should be the immediate milestones the SLN should aim to achieve in respect of maritime security and shaping the environment for economic progress with a large emphasis on becoming a maritime hub in South Asia". The second prize was won by Lieutenant Commander (L) GLK Basnayake for his essay on "How best the SLN should proceed in improving the existing divisional system to prevent anti-social behaviour of personnel which has shown an increase in reported incidents in the recent past". The third prize was won by Lieutenant (S) WMHHDN De S Walisundara for his essay on "With the existing peaceful and stable security environment enjoyed by Sri Lanka, what do you think is the most prudent strategy the country should pursue to achieve increased economic and social progress?"
The first prize of the Commander & above category was won by Commodore AKM Jinadasa for his essay on "The existing officers' performance appraisal system in the SLN (Nav206) and the areas of improvement required to make it more effective for officers’ career development". The second prize was won by Commander (S) AS Galabadage for his essay on the same topic. The third prize was won by Commander (ND) R Joseph for his essay titled "What should be the immediate milestones the SLN should aim to achieve in respect of maritime security and shaping the environment for economic progress with a large emphasis on becoming a maritime hub in South Asia".
Marking the launch of the Sri Lanka Navy Journal which followed the prize awarding, the first copy was presented to the Commander of the Navy by the Naval Assistant Commodore Meril Sudarshana. Coming into being as a realization of a concept of the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, the journal serves as a potent platform for all serving members of the Navy to present their ideas, express their opinions and share their insights on subjects of national and global importance. It also provides them an ideal means to improve their writing skills and broaden their knowledge horizons. Anybody who is interested in sending comments & suggestions, they can forward the same at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a special event following the prize awarding and the journal launch, the Commander of the Navy also awarded the letters of commendation to the members of the SLN contingent in recognition of the exceptional services rendered during their emergency relief mission to earthquake-hit Nepal. They had provided medical treatment to over 1,000 Nepalese persons while deployed on their first ever overseas humanitarian mission undertaken in the immediate aftermath of Nepal’s devastating 25th April earthquake.