Sixty two (62) Midshipmen groomed as naval officers commissioned in Trincomalee

The Passing out Parade and Commissioning Ceremony of sixty two (62) Midshipmen of the 61st Intake of Officer Cadets of Sri Lanka Navy and 35th Intake of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, underwent training at the Naval and Maritime Academy (NMA), was held in a dignified sequence at NMA, Trincomalee on 12th December 2020. Secretary of Defence, Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne graced this occasion as the Chief Guest and took the salute at the invitation of the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne.

Consequently, the Naval and Maritime Academy, premier training institution of the Navy, witnessed a unique ceremony on Saturday as this group of prospective officers passed out amidst cheers of their parents and a galaxy of distinguished guests. Among the recently commissioned officers were 48 Midshipmen from the 61st Intake of Officer Cadets as well as 14 Midshipmen from the 35th Intake of 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 AKS Perera of the 35th Intake of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University won the Sword of Honour, having been adjudged the Best Midshipman. He also secured the highest aggregate in both professional and overall subjects. Meanwhile, Midshipman AHTT Tharuka and Midshipman WA Imeshka were adjudged the Best Sportsman and Best Marksman of the 35th Intake respectively.

By the same token, Midshipman KVR Karunarathne won the Sword of Honour, having been adjudged the Best Midshipman of the 61st Intake of Officer Cadets. Meanwhile, Midshipman PV Kulasinghe secured the highest aggregate in nautical, professional as well as overall subjects. Apart from that, Midshipman AHGC De Silva and Midshipman RPL De Silva were declared to be the Best Sportsman and Best Marksman of the 61st Intake respectively.

Addressing the newly passed out officers, Secretary of Defence, reminded the young blooded officers that the armed forces are entrusted with the duty of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial Integrity of the nation and expressed that these officers should take pride and be pleased to have joined the Sri Lanka Navy to serve the motherland with a noble resolve. He also voiced his gratitude to the proud parents of newly commissioned offices, mentioning that their sons have wisely and bravely selected the best career path a young gentleman could follow to reach their aspirations.

The Secretary of Defence was also of the view that these officers are physically and mentally agile and robust to face any sort of challenge as a result of the training they have undergone in the past years. Most importantly he told the young officers that the government is allocating a considerable portion of its revenue for the defence of the country and it is the responsibility of them to be accountable for those assets and make sure optimum utilization of them which are maintained from the public money. Moreover, the new bunch of officers were asked to be mindful to grasp opportunities endowed to them to improve their abilities, professionalism and leadership traits in their journey ahead.

Delivering an important message to the newly fledged officers, the Chief Guest stated that they are not only responsible to protect the motherland from multi-dimensional and non-traditional threats but also to preserve the peace and ethnic harmony in our society as well. Urging them to respect the rules and regulations and civil law which they are bound to obey, the Secretary of Defence finally wished them best of luck for a bright and successful naval career ahead.

The occasion was also attended by Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera, Deputy Chief of Staff and Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sumith Weerasinghe, Director General Logistics, Budget & Finance, Rear Admiral Udaya Hettiarachchi, Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Ruwan Perera, Director General Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Rear Admiral, SVJN Samarasinghe, Director General Engineering, Rear Admiral Ravi Ranasinghe, Commandant Naval and Maritime Academy, Commodore Dammika Kumara, Acting Director General and Director Naval Training, Commodore Kanchana Banagoda, senior officers from the Navy Headquarters and Eastern Naval Command, a host of senior officers from sister services and Police and parents of newly commissioned officers.

The glittering spectacle 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 time-honoured naval customs. Due to the prevailing COVID-19 concerns, the Navy made sure the execution of the entire event adhering to health and safety guidelines stipulated by health authorities.