Commander of the Navy visits Southeastern Naval Command

The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera embarked on a formal visit to the Southeastern Naval Command from the 08th to 10th of May 2024. This visit encompassed a comprehensive overview of operational matters, developmental initiatives, and welfare projects underway within the command. Addressing officers and sailors of the command, the Navy Chief also briefed on how they could dedicate themselves more effectively to fulfill the Navy's duties.

Beginning his official visit on 08th May, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera visited SLNS Mahanaga in Panama to observe its operations. He was accompanied by the Commander Southeastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Thushara Karunathunga and a group of officers from the Navy Headquarters and Southeastern Naval Command. At the main auditorium of SLNS Mahanaga, the Commander of the Navy addressed a cross section of officers and sailors of the command.

In his address, the Commander of the Navy highlighted the distinctive nature of the Arugam Bay Beach in the Southeastern Naval Command, noting its potential to become a focal point for the country's future development. He further remarked on the nation's steady recovery from challenging times, crediting improved welfare facilities and increased rations for providing much-needed relief to naval personnel. Emphasizing the Navy's commitment to prudent spending, he stressed the importance of managing personal finances wisely and aligning expenses with income.

Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera mentioned that despite facing many challenges, the Sri Lanka Navy's efforts to nurture a stable ocean region have been highly praised by the global community. Additionally, he highlighted that the Navy's enhanced relationships with international naval forces and organizations have significantly elevated its standing. Notably, the recent successful rescue of a Sri Lankan fishing vessel from pirates underscored this progress, he opined. Moreover, he emphasized that the Sri Lanka Navy's partnership with the Combined Maritime Forces has positioned it as a key advocate for ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean. He further stressed the need for the Sri Lanka Navy to evolve into a force capable of operating in international waters, requiring the development of new knowledge, skills, experience, and attitudes.

The Navy Chief also emphasized that, as an island nation, the Navy is dedicated to upholding its international obligations by safeguarding the seas and combating illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, via sea routes. In this regard, the Navy's capabilities, including training, technical equipment, and resources, will be progressively enhanced, he said. He also mentioned that, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka government and other foreign partners, the Navy will not only enhanced its Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) capabilities but also secure resources to expand hydrographic operations in the future. Furthermore, he noted that as a result of the Navy's efforts, particularly in advancing the maritime sector, retiring personnel will benefit from a range of economic opportunities, including maritime tourism, ensuring their future well-being.

The Navy Commander stressed the importance of upholding naval discipline at all levels. Against the backdrop of society's recognition of the Navy's crucial role in combatting drug trafficking, he underscored the need to avoid involvement in such illicit activities for quick financial gain, as it tarnishes the Navy's reputation.

During this visit, the Navy Chief declared open Hedaoya Water Project which has been made available to meet the water requirement of SLNS Mahanaga, utilizing manpower and industrial expertise of the Navy. Next, he paid homage to Muhudu Maha Viharaya and called on its Chief Incumbent and received blessings.

Visiting Deegawapi Raja Maha Vihara, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera laid a foundation stone for a new pagoda being built in the premises. He also looked into the ongoing construction of a Pilgrims Hall (Vishrama Shala) which is being built utilizing Navy’s manpower.

After an inspection visit to the Kartivu and Oluvil Naval Detachments overseen by SLNS Deeghaayu, the Navy Commander arrived at Kudumbigala Monastery on 10th May, the last day of his itinerary. Having visited and received the blessings of monks residing there, Vice Admiral Perera inspected the Sanghawasa being built by the Navy at Kudumbigala Monastery.

As part of the visit, the Navy Commander, conducting an inspection tour of the Okanda Naval Detachment under SLNS Mahanaga, also visited a newly constructed building and the Sick Bay at SLNS Mahanaga for observation.

The Commander Southeastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Thushara Karunathunga, Naval Assistant to the Commander of the Navy, Commodore Kosala Warnakulasooriya, Deputy Area Commander Southeastern Naval Area, Commodore Malan Perera and a group of officers from SLNS Mahanaga and Deeghaayu were also present on these occasions.