27th October 2016 21:51:59 Hours
The investiture of Parama Weera Vibushanaya (PWV), Weerodara Vibushanaya (WV), Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya (WWV), Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) gallantry medals on a remaining segment of tri-service War Heroes who selflessly contributed to the durable peace in Sri Lanka before May 2009, took place this afternoon (27) during a glittering ceremony at the BMICH, headed by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe also graced the occasion as a distinguished invitee, together with the Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, State Minister of Defence Hon Ruwan Wijewardena, President’s Secretary, Secretary Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and tri-service Commanders.
222 War Heroes of the Army, 45 Navy War Heroes and 33 Air Force War Heroes, including those who were posthumously awarded, were among the recipients of those prestigious gallantry medals PWV, WV, WWV, RWP and RSP that are awarded in recognition of their unmatched valour, dedication and unfailing commitment to the eradication of terrorism from the soil of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Army War Heroes were accordingly awarded three PWV medals, eight WV medals, sixty-one WWV medals, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine RWP medals and six thousand one hundred and fifty-seven RSP medals, out of which only a representative number was awarded this evening by HE the President, Prime Minister and other distinguished invitees. The remainder is to be awarded later on at Regiment level.
Recital of the national anthem and observance of two-minute silence in memory of all fallen War Heroes set the stage to the apex of the day’s event, amid reverberating ‘Rana Bera’ sounds, presented by troupes of the cultural bands of the tri-services.
Reading of the proclamation for conferment of the most reputed Parama Weera Vibushanaya (PWV) which is regarded as the highest Sri Lankan military decoration cum the Supreme Heroism decoration, took place at the outset where the next-of-kin of three fallen War Heroes of the Army were called on stage to receive the PWV medals posthumously on behalf of Major W.M.I.S.B Walisundara, Sergeant A.M Anura and Lance Corporal K.G.M Rajapaksha. This medal recognizes individual acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of the most exceptional order while on service.
Minutes afterwards, the reading of the proclamation for award of Weerodara Vibushanaya (WV) medal was presented to the august ceremony, dignified by the presence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. WV medal, the second highest decoration is a reward for individual acts of gallantry and prominent bravery without any regard to the threat to his own life or security with the sheer determination of safeguarding the lives of others.
Next, the award of the Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya (WWV) medal began. It is the third highest Sri Lankan military decoration and awarded for acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of military nature, carried out while on active service without considering his / her own security or safety.
Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) is awarded to military officers and other ranks as a reward for allied or individual acts of heroism and bravery in the face of the enemy. It is known as the combat gallantry medal.
Then followed the award of the Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) which is also regarded as the combat excellence medal. It recognizes individual and associated acts of heroism in facing the enemy.
The ceremony close to an end with the formal address of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, HE the President before the patriotic song ‘Ratnadeepa Janma Bhoomi’ rent the air.
Several past tri-service Commanders, recipients of laurels, next-of-kin of fallen War Heroes and a gathering of tri-service senior officers witnessed the medal ceremony at the BMICH.