Local News Update: Hon Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa adding historic memories to the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) at Diyatalawa at the invitation of the Ministry of Defence and Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army, on Saturday (21) graced the Passing Out Parade (PoP) of 325 Cadet Officers adding dignity and splendor to the day’s event.
The day’s agenda for the PoP got to a start with the customary tradition of commemorating the departed ones. Paying the highest tribute in flowers, the Chief Guest for the occasion in the company of the Army Chief laid a floral wreath at the SLMA war memorial and recalled invaluable past sacrifices of fallen War Heroes in a solemn moment with Secretary Defence, Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, Commander of the Army and the SLMA Commandant, Brigadier S.K Eshwaran.
The SLMA parade ground, well-poised in a setting of a very magnificent spectacle of national importance with fluttering multi-colored military flags in the backyard to suit the day’s perfect event, then turned to be a hive of activity as the Parade Commander, Major N.I.P.K Gamage of the Vijayabhahu Infantry Regiment, sought the formal permission from the day’s Chief Guest, now on the special dais, to continue the ceremonial proceedings in accordance with military formalities.
As patriotic melodies commenced renting the air, the Chief Guest, Hon Prime Minister after review of the formal parade, together with the Commander of the Army, awarded most prestigious Commissioning Swords to those Officer Cadets, their much-admired symbolic commissions before he received the salute from those new graduates in the eye-catching parade.
Those Cadet Officers, who underwent the SLMA training in the Regular Intake 87, 87 (B), 59 (V), Lady Intake 16 (Volunteer) and Lady Intake 17 upon receipt of their commissions in the formal PoP will take up duties around the country to serve as dedicated sons/daughters and Defenders of the Nation.
“Sovereignty as well as very existence of our nation was protected and nurtured by our armed forces in the face of several threats for division of the country. Our troops showing their professionalism have worked in an exemplary manner, although some countries are angry with our armed forces at the political level corresponding foreign armed forces admit that what our troops did was great. You are today joining a proud Army which has shocked the world by eradicating the world’s most brutal terrorist organization,” Hon Prime Minister added.
Amidst scores of greetings and best wishes, the prestigious Trophy for the First-in-Order of Merit and the Sword of Honour for the Best All Round Officer in the Intake 87 were awarded to Battalion Under Officer T.G.P.H Kodagoda. In the Intake 87 B, the First-in-Order of Merit Trophy and the Sword of Honour were awarded to the Company Under Officer A.M Chandrathilaka.
In the Intake 17, the First-in-Order of Merit Trophy and the Sword of Honour were awarded to the Platoon Under Officer K.P.D.I Madushani. In the Officer Cadet Intake 59 (Volunteer), the First-in-Order of Merit Trophy was awarded to the Officer Cadet P.D.T.R.L Pulleperuma and the Sword of Honour went to Company Under Officer K.M.G.D.B Kangara.
In the Lady Officer Cadet Intake 16 (Volunteer), the First-in-Order of Merit Trophy and the Sword of Honour were awarded to the Cadet Sergeant J.P.T Ranmali.
Those awards were presented to the graduates by the day’s Chief Guest for achieving the highest aggregate marks in their respective Intakes.
During their stay at the SLMA, those graduates pursued their extensive training at the SLMA after they received admission to the SLMA.
A few minutes after award of those Trophies, parents of the newly-commissioned Officers during a special ceremony, held at the SLMA gymnasium, in a moving gesture, adorned shoulders of their beloved sons with insignia of the President’s Commission as a symbol of recognition of their commissioning which was also a highlight of the day’s itinerary. The presence of the day’s Chief Guest, Commander of the Army and the SLMA Commandant Brigadier S.K Eshwaran on all those moments of national significance added more weight to the gathering.
The day’s spectacle reached another landmark as dusk fell in the Officer Cadets’ Mess when the Commissioned Officers sat with the day’s Guest of Honour, Commander of the Army, together with distinguished Senior Officers for the sumptuous and elegant ‘Commissioning Dinner’, one of the much-awaited formalities in the SLMA calendar of occurrences with the graduates.
A high-level foreign Army delegation, Diplomats, Embassy officials, Parents and a large gathering witnessed the day’s spectacular event extending best wishes.