The Army’s premier seat of learning, Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) at Diyatalawa highlands honoured the Mother Lanka once again on Monday (2) by producing 140 more full-pledged Cadet Officers to the Sri Lanka Army.
A total of 140 Cadet Officers, from Intakes 73, 75, and Intake (voluntary) 51, including two Lady Cadet Officers from Intake 10A during their Passing Out Parade (PoP) Monday (2) morning, received the Sword of Honour, symbolic of their Commissioning from the day’s Chief Guest, Mr Lalith Weeratunge, Secretary to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army.
The day’s military ceremony commenced after Mr Lalith Weeratunge, Chief Guest drove past the Guard Turnout at the SLMA main entrance, in keeping with ceremonials before he was warmly received by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, together with the SLMA Commandant, Brigadier Priyantha Jayasundara.
The next moment was solemn as the Chief Guest walked to the SLMA cenotaph to pay floral tributes to the eternal memory of fallen War Heroes, accompanied by the Commander of the Army.
The climax of the day’s event afterwards began with the award of commissioning swords to the Cadet Officers by the Chief Guest before receipt of the salute from the new graduates in the colourful parade.
Both Battalion Under Officer, U.A.S.U Ukwatta of the Intake 73 and Platoon Under Officer, D.V.N Dharmapriya of the Intake 75, received laurels from the Chief Guest for the Best Overall Performance for achieving the highest aggregate marks for all academic and practical disciplines during training.
‘Let me offer the nation’s tribute to the parents who have given their beloved sons and daughters to the services as guardians of the country. Their dedication and commitment is unique. They were the heroes of our day who defended this country and who will continue to do the same in the future too. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, is all the time prepared to give all possible assistance for the sake of War Heroes and their families, considering their invaluable sacrifices’, Mr Lalith Weeratunge, delivering a brief oration to the occasion, remarked.
A few minutes later, the Chief Guest at the invitation of Lieutenant General Jayasuriya and SLMA Commandant, planted a tree sapling in the premises before a visit to the SLMA library.
On completion of the main segment of the ceremony, parents of those newly commissioned officers, in the presence of the SLMA Commandant, adorned the shoulders of their beloved new officers with the insignia of the President’s Commission in the typical pipping ceremony in conformity with military traditions.
Mrs Lalith Weeratunge, the spouse of the President’s Secretary and Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya, Preseident, Seva Vanitha Army Branch were also associated with the day’s event. All the graduates had the distinction of posing for a group photograph with the Chief Guest and Commander of the Army. Late in the evening, all newly commissioned officers sit together for a fellowship dinner before they take leave from one another.
A large distinguished gathering of invitees, parents, next of kin, military officers, state officials and well-wishers witnessed the PoP ceremony.