Thirty-six (36) Midshipmen bestowed to the nation after dignified commissioning ceremony in Trincomalee
The commissioning of Midshipmen of the 35th (Technical) and 36th intakes of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) was held triumphantly at the Naval and Maritime Academy (NMA), Trincomalee on 22nd July 2022. The eventful ceremony marked the culmination of the basic training period of 36 Midshipmen who were groomed as prospective naval officers at KDU and NMA. At the invitation of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) graced the event as the Chief Guest and took the salute.
The dignified ceremony held in keeping with time-honoured naval tradition saw another bunch of dynamic naval officers being commissioned and passing out at the NMA main parade ground, amidst cheers of their parents and a galaxy of distinguished guests. The recently commissioned officers comprised 11 Midshipmen of 35th (Technical) intake and 25 Midshipmen of 36th intake of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.
The climax of the day’s event afterwards began with the presentation of special awards by the Secretary of Defence, in recognition of outstanding performances of the Midshipmen. Accordingly, Midshipman HASV Hapuarachchi was adjudged the Best Technical Officer of the 35th intake of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.
Meanwhile, Midshipman IS Weerasinghe of the 36th intake of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University won the Sword of Honour, having been adjudged the Best Midshipman, and the award for Best Sportsman as well. Midshipman SN Abeywarna secured two awards for achieving the highest aggregate in both professional and overall subjects. The award for the Best Marksman of the intake was won by Midshipman RPPS Rajapaksha.
Addressing the august gathering, the Secretary of Defence expressed his pleasure for gracing such an impressive naval parade, organized in accordance with the traditional naval customs, as the Chief Guest and welcomed these newly commissioned officers into the proud family of Sri Lankan Defence Forces, in particular to the elite Sri Lanka Navy.
Adding further, he said that Sri Lanka possessed sizable and world-renowned armed force that was capable to deter grave threat posed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and underlined the contribution made by the Sri Lanka Navy during these three decade-long conflict against ruthless terrorism by fighting fearlessly in the face of the enemy to ensure safe seas and providing much-needed logistic support necessary for the sustenance of troops. Mentioning on those gallant officers and sailors of the Navy who sacrificed their lives to secure the peace and stability of the motherland, the Secretary of Defence emphasized that it was our bounden duty to ponder upon the devotion and dedication extended by them, committing their youth for achieving the most anticipated aspiration of the nation.
He also reminded newly commissioned officers that higher extent of devotion is expected of them to ensure the security and sovereignty of the nation and to thwart the non-traditional challenges faced by the country in the Indian Ocean region; such as people smuggling drug trafficking, other transnational crimes and threats such as natural disasters. Further, he asked the young officers to be proud of themselves as they have chosen the perfect path to fulfill their responsibilities and to prove their worthiness to the nation.
Highlighting on the importance of development of abilities and skills through training to succeed in their professional life, he also encouraged young officers to reach higher positions in their careers while overcoming challenges with confidence and honing leadership qualities.
Adding more, the Secretary Defence expressed that the government constantly allocated a considerable portion of its revenue for the defence of the country. Therefore, he asked newly commissioned officers to be responsible and accountable for the assets which are maintained from the public money.
Expressing his gratitude to the parents of the officers who newly joined the naval family, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) said that the parents should be proud of the right decision taken by the children to serve the nation.
Also, he reminded that loyalty towards the nation was never to be questioned and it was mandatory to respect the rules, regulations and laws of the organization and the country. Finally, the Secretary Defence expressed his best wishes to the new bunch of naval officers and sincere appreciation to Commander of the Navy and Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University for moulding these officers.
The ceremony filled with grandeur inherent to the Navy was also attended by Chairperson of Defence Ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Chithrani Gunaratne, President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Chandima Ulugetenne,Deputy Chief of Staff of the Navy and Director General Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Anura Ekanayake, Director General Engineering, Rear Admiral Ravi Ranasinghe, Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne, Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Prasanna Mahawithana, Director General (Budget & Finance), Rear Admiral Thilak Sigera, Naval Assistant to Commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Sujeewa Senavirathne, Director General Training, Rear Admiral Mahinda Mahawatte, Commander Northwestern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Suresh De Silva, Commander Southeastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Prasad Kariyapperuma, executive committee members of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Commandant NMA, Commodore Damian Fernando, flag rank officers, senior officers from the Navy Headquarters and Eastern Naval Command, a group of senior officers from sister services and Police and parents of newly commissioned officers.
The glittering ceremony concluded with a spectacular cultural performance presented by the Navy Cultural Troupe and a Band Display followed by a ceremonial sunset held in accordance with naval customs.