Commander of the Navy presides ‘Rana Daruwo’ book launching ceremony marking 140th anniversary of National Cadet Corps

Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne presided over the public launching of the book titled ‘Rana Daruwo’ authored by Captain MN Dharmarathna at the Royal College, Colombo today (08th December 2021). Captain MN Dharmarathna, who was in charge of the Royal College Cadet Platoon as Officer Commander and went on to serve the College as its Deputy Principal, launched this publication to coincide with the 140th anniversary of National Cadet Corps (NCC) as well as Royal College Cadetting.

As history shows, cadetting in Sri Lanka first began in 1881 at Royal College under the patronage of then Principal of the College, Mr. JB Cull for the purpose of promoting discipline in students.

Captain MN Dharmarathna has served at Royal College, Colombo for 25 years. Being the Officer Commander of Cadet Contingent he led the College Cadet Platoon to clinch the Hermann Loos Trophy in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1984 bringing much credit in the annals of Royal College.

The cadets whom were trained by him have later been able to reach higher echelons in the Armed Forces. The incumbent Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne and the former Chief of Defense Staff as well as former Commander of the Navy, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne have also been groomed by Captain Dharmarathna.

Captain MN Dharmarathna has penned this vital publication based on his experience of the National Cadet Corps as well as Royal College Cadetting, being a towering figure who rendered a noble service to both movements.

Addressing this august gathering, Commander of the Navy who himself was a Cadet of the Royal College, heaped praise on Captain Dharmarathna, one of the most prestigious brands in the history of the National Cadet Corps as well as the Royal College Cadetting, for his valuable mentorship. ‘The training and discipline received as a member of the Royal College Cadet Platoon was the foundation which paved the way to be the 24th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy’, he further opined. Commander of the Navy further expressed that Captain MN Dharmarathna could really be proud of his apprentices, as former Royal College Cadets are holding key positions in the Armed Forces as well as in other sectors in society.

On this momentous occasion, Captain Dharmarathna presented a copy of ‘Rana Daruwo’ to Commander of the Navy and Commander of the Navy reciprocated the gesture with a special memento.

The proceedings of the book launching were held in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Chief of Staff of the Navy, Vice Admiral YN Jayarathne, former Commanders of the Navy, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe and Admiral Ravindra Wijegunarathne, Commanding Officer NCC, Colonel Gamini Abeysinghe, Principal of the Royal College, Mr. MVS Gunathilake, staff members and a group of Old Royalists serving in tri-services and Police were also present on this occasion.