Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera felicitated by Alma Mater

The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, one of the proud products of Royal College Colombo, was felicitated in a fitting ceremony for his ascension to the pinnacle of the Navy by his Alma Mater today (31st August 2023).

Upon their arrival, a warm welcome was extended to the Commander of the Navy and his spouse, the President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Mala Lamahewa, by the Old Royalists, the Principal, and the teaching staff. They were then led in a procession to the college premises accompanied by the College Band. In the meantime, the College Cadet Platoon extended a formal Guard of Honour to Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, while the Scouts warmly welcomed him with meticulous adherence to their customs and practices. Next, he paid floral tributes to the fallen war heroes at the War Heroes’ Monument in the college premises, before the Navy Chief was ushered for the proceedings of the main ceremony.

Speaking to the audience, Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe (Retd), the President of Old Royalist Cadet Association (ORCA) and 16th Commander of the Navy, highlighted that Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera's exceptional attributes of professionalism, integrity, loyalty, and perseverance serve as a commendable benchmark for the students of Royal College.

Another significant moment of the event involved reading out a charter (known as Sannas Pathra) and presenting it to the Navy Commander by the Principal. This document encapsulated the accomplishments of the Commander of the Navy during his time at the school, training at the Kotelawala Defence Academy and his extensive naval career spanning more than thirty-six (36) years, the medals he earned and prominent appointments he held.

Meanwhile, the protagonist of the day, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera was introduced to the esteemed audience by Mr Janaka Kolonnage from the 86th batch of the Royal College and Rear Admiral YN Jayarathne (Retd). Mr. Thilak Wattuhewa, the Principal of the Royal College, who addressed the ceremony, said that the Royal College had bequeathed many Commanders to the motherland and the appointment of Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera as the 25th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy is a great honour for the Royal College.

Subsequently, the Commander of the Navy, speaking at the event, expressed his humbleness, pride, and deep sense of honour upon receiving a special tribute from the Royal College, the institution that played a pivotal role in shaping his character and providing him with the fundamental groundwork to reach the esteemed position of the Navy. Stirring memories of his time in school, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera fondly recalled the parents and teachers who dedicated themselves to molding, nurturing, and educating him throughout his school journey spanning over thirteen years, starting from January 1974 until July 1987. Their unwavering support played a crucial role in helping him overcome the challenges, he further opined. Moreover, he expressed that education he received at the college significantly contributed to his transformation into a courageous, truthful, and dynamic young gentleman upon his departure from the school. The Commander of the Navy also expressed his deep enthusiasm for a range of adventure activities he engaged as a Scout and other variety of extra-curricular activities. He also advised the students of Royal College to believe in their inherent strength of character and to begin nurturing it during their time at school. Importantly, he urged the student not to be victims of the drug menace that poses a significant danger to society. Finally, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera expressed his gratitude to the Principal, teaching staff, Prefects, Band, Cadet Platoon, Scouts and all students for felicitating him. Also, he expressed his appreciation to the Royal College Union, School Development Society, Old Royalist Cadet Association and the 86 group for organising this event.

Enhancing the importance of this event, the principal gifted a replica of the Royal College emblem to the Navy Commander, who also presented tokens of appreciation to the current principal as well as the principal and teachers from his tenure at the school.

Commander of the Navy also left his remarks in the visitors’ book before posing for a group photograph. Subsequently, he visited the Cadet and Scout Rooms of the college and left his remarks there as well.

The event was also attended by the staff members of Royal College, former Principals and teachers, Old Royalists, former Navy Commanders and senior tri-service officers produced by the college, currently serving senior officers from the tri-service and Police, students and a large gathering of distinguished guests.