Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the chief guest at the 'Uttama Pooja
' felicitation ceremony held at the Sri Lanka Air Force base in Diyatalawa today (25th June).
The 'Uttama Pooja'
is a brainchild of Secretary Defence and has been initiated to pay tribute to the families of the brave men and women of the Sri Lanka armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice in the safe guarding of the motherland.
This year the ceremony was held to felicitate the parents, wives, children or next of kin of the 1505 valiant souls who were from the Badulla district in the Uva province. Accordingly 'Ranaviru
' families of 1368 Army, 48 Navy, 11 Air Force and 78 Police personnel received the 'Uttama Pooja' medals.
Speaking at the ceremony the Secretary Defence said that the sacrifices made by the valiant soldiers in the three decade long war against terrorism were boundless and the commitment and support of their parents, wives, children and the next of kin were tremendous.
He further added that the government is giving due consideration to the issues of education and welfare of the children and families of the fallen heroes and the Seva Vanitha Units of the tri forces are much involved in these projects. Especially through the 'Ranaviru
' housing project hundreds of houses have already been distributed among the 'Ranaviru'
families. The Secretary Defence also said that they should take much prestige in wearing this medal which is a symbol of gratitude and recognition for the great sacrifice made in the name of safeguarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
A large number of guests including the President of the Ranaviru Seva Authority Padma Wettewa, Additional Secretary Ministry of Defence S. Hettiarachchi, Military Liaison Officer of the Ministry of Defence Major General (Retd) Palitha Fernando, Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Harsha Abewickrama and many senior military officials were present at the occasion.
Ministry of Defence together with the Ranaviru Seva Authority had jointly organized this felicitation ceremony. (Courtesy: MoD