12th August 2017 23:08:27 Hours
The fifth annual memorial oration of late General Deshamannya Denis Perera, organized by the Association of Retired Flag Rank Officers (ARFRO), was delivered by Lieutenant General, Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army, at the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) auditorium on Friday (11).
A one-minute silence in memory of fallen War Heroes and recital of the National anthem set the stage for commencement of the day’s agenda. After the welcome address, the ARFRO President, Rear Admiral (Retd), H.S. Rathnakeerthi together with Mrs Ranjani Perera, the spouse of the late General Denis Perera garlanded the photo of late General.
At the invitation of the ARFRO, the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General, Mahesh Senanayake attended the event as the distinguished orator and delivered the memorial oration under the theme, "Unity of Effort: Building Civil Military Partnership to Counter Violent Extremism" recalling the memories of the late General Denis Perera.
Before the commencement of the oration, the Commander of the Army was presented with the customary Memorial Oration Medal by the ARFRO President.
Late General J.E Denis Perera, the former Commander of the Army passed away on August 11, 2013 in Colombo at the age of 83 after an illustrious military career, having joined the then Ceylon Army on October 10, 1949, the very first date of its raising and also on his 19th birthday. General Perera was educated at St Peter’s College. He was initially trained at the Mons Officer Cadet School. After further training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the First Field Engineers and was attached to the British Army of the Rhine. He later graduated from the British Army Staff College Camberley. After service in both field command and Army HQ staff positions, he served as a staff officer under the then Lt Col Richard Udugama (later Army Commander) in Eastern Sri Lanka during the Gal Oya troubles. Later he was Sri Lanka’s Military Attaché in the UK. Late General Deshamannya Denis Perera, a past student of St. Peter’s College, served as the Commander of the Army from 1977 to 1981.
Following his retirement from the Army, he was appointed as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Australia, and later on he became the Chancellor of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University for five years from 1995 - 2000. He pioneered the establishment of the Sri Lanka Military Academy and the Kotelawala Defence Academy at Ratmalana, now a world class defence university. In honour of his commendable service to the nation, he was awarded the title of Deshamannya by the Government of Sri Lanka in 2000.He was also the founder President of the ARFRO.
At the end of the memorial ceremony, the Vote of Thanks was delivered by the Vice President, ARFRO, Major General L.C.R Goonewardana (Retd).
Commander of the Navy and a large gathering of both serving and retired officers and relatives of General Deshamannya Denis Perera were also present at the occasion.