Two hundred and eighty-two exceptionally talented school children of country-wide Ranaviru families were rewarded with scholarships on Friday (3) during a special ceremony at Defence Services School (DSS), Colombo 2.
Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development as the Chief Guest, together with the Parliamentarian Mr Mohan Lal Grero (MP), Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal W. D. R. M. J. Goonetileke, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Inspector General of the Police, attended the ceremony for distribution of those scholarships.
Each scholarship, worth Rs 25,000/= was deposited in a savings book of the recipient, enabling withdrawal of instalments on monthly basis for education until the child grows up. National Savings Bank has sponsored the project after undertaking the investment.
In addition, each scholarship recipient received separate gift parcels containing a till, school bag, clothes, educational accessories, equipment, etc from the Chief Guest and distinguished guests soon after the scholarship was presented to each recipient. CDS, Army Commander, IGP and a few others joined the distribution of scholarships at the invitation of the organizers.
Mr S. Hettiarachchi, Additional Secretary to Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, together with the CDS, Commander of the Army, IGP, Brigadier B. J. Pakshaweera, Director, DSS, Mr P Wickramasinghe, Principal, DSS, received the Chief Guest on arrival at the venue.
‘Today, we are able to freely move about because of the invaluable sacrifices, made by your beloved fathers for the sake of the country. The best way to respect their memory and the sacrifices is to support the well-being of their offspring like you’, the Secretary Defence Mr Rajapaksa said addressing the gathering.
Soon after the main ceremony, the Chief Guest took time off to see around the DSS premises and its class rooms. On the same occasion, a large stock of school requirements was also presented to the school authorities.
Mrs Goonetileke, the spouse of the CDS, Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya, the spouse of the Commander of the Army, parents, teachers and a large gathering attended the occasion.