Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Chief Guest in Passing out Parade at Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

The Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera during an official visit to India, graced the Passing out Parade of naval officers, as the Chief Guest, held at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala on 27th May 2023. At the invitation of the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral R Hari Kumar, the Sri Lankan Navy Chief made this formal visit to India. During the visit, Commander of the Navy was accompanied by the President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Mala Lamahewa.

The dignified naval ceremony saw the passing out of 102 Midshipmen (including 03 Sri Lankan, 01 Bangladesh and 01 Vietnam Midshipmen) of the 104th Indian Naval Academy Course, 41 officers (including 03 foreign trainees of Madagascar, Maldives and Mauritius) of the 37th Naval Orientation Course (Regular), 24 officers of the 37th Naval Orientation Course (Indian Coast Guard), 14 officers of the 35th Naval Orientation Course (Extended) Short Service Commissioned Pilot, 11 officers of the 35th Naval Orientation Course (Extended) Permanent Commissioned and 19 officers of the 33rd and 34th Naval Orientation Course (Extended) of Executive branch, making it a memorable ceremony for 211 prospective naval officers.

With great pride and honour, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera reviewed the passing out parade, in compliance with naval tradition. Next, addressing the newly passed out officers, he expressed that it was a great honour to participate in this magnificent ceremony as the Chief Guest. Adding further, he said that the recently passed out young officers will shape their professional paths while embodying the core values of Indian Navy - duty, honour, and courage. Furthermore, he stated that the training will enhance both knowledge and leadership abilities, providing valuable support in effectively managing and guiding their team towards attaining the intended objectives. In addition, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera said that maintaining a strong character and reputation is crucial for easily attaining desired goals and fostering the emergence of an exceptional patriotic leader. Speaking to the parents of the young blooded officers, the Sri Lankan Navy Chief emphasized the importance of supporting their children in effectively carrying out the important mission entrusted to them for the betterment of the country. He also conveyed gratitude to the Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy and his directing staff for their unwavering attempt in providing quality training embedded with the highest naval tradition to these officers.

On the sidelines of the visit, Commander of the Navy also called on Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to India, Hon. Milinda Moragoda, the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral R Hari Kumar, Defence Secretary, Mr Shri Giridhar Aramane, Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Pande, Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, Commandant National Defence College, Lieutenant General Sukriti Singh Dahiya, National Maritime Security Coordinator, Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), Rear Admiral Susheel Menon. During these discussions they exchanged views on matters of bilateral importance and the cordial discussions concluded with exchange of mementoes.

As part of the visit, Commander of the Navy also paid floral tributes to the National War Memorial in New Delhi and visited the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region.

On the sidelines, the President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Mala Lamahewa attended several programmes organised by the Indian Navy Welfare and Wellness Association, at the directives of its President Mrs Kala Hari Kumar.

Official visits of this nature will play a significant role in enhancing foreign relations and fostering cooperation between the naval forces of both nations. Also, they aim to address mutual maritime challenges in the oceanic region, thereby paving the way for joint efforts in overcoming them in the future.

Photo courtesy - Indian Navy