Published on - 1/17/2005
The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) adorned military garbs on Wednesday (12) morning when military chiefs joined university dons to award credentials to those who graduated from the Army Command and Staff College (ACSC) at Batalanda.
The seventh batch of military officers comprising twenty-nine Army Officers, three Navy Officers and two Air Force Officers received their graduation after reading for the one-year long ACSC Passed Staff College (psc) Degree.
The ACSC, one of the highest academic military institutes in the country, is affiliated to the University of Kelaniya and remains a recognized academic institute across the island. The ACSC course is regarded as one of the most demanding academic streams in the Army career which qualifies military officers to obtain the Passed Staff College (psc) degree.
The ceremony commenced after arrival of the Chief Guest, Mr. Rathnasiri Wikramanayaka, Hon Minister of Buddha Sasana, Public Security and Law and Order and Deputy Minister of Defence who was received by Major General Seevali Wanigasekara, Commandant ACSC.
As the auditorium reverberated with echoes of Magul Bera (auspicious drums) and blowing of conch shells, distinguished guests in conformity with age-old traditions, set light to the oil lamp heralding the onset of day's proceedings. Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya, Most Ven. Welamityawe Dharmakirthi Sri Kusaladhamma Nayake Thero, Secretary Defence Major General (Retd) A.K. Jayawardene, Chief of Defence Staff and Navy Commander Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri, Army Commander Lt. Gen Shantha Kottegoda, Air Force Commander Air Vice Marshal Donald Perera, Director General Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute, Dr. Vernon L. B Mendis and the Commandant ACSC were later ushered to the stage after they joined the lamp-lighting.
Mr. Rantnasiri Wickramanayake gracing the occasion as Chief Guest awarded all parchments to those excelled in studies and received graduation at the glittering ceremony. Both prestigious laurels, Golden Pen Award and Golden Owl Award went to Major D. C. A. Wickrasinghe of the Sri Lanka Army Engineers who produced the best research paper and showed talents in all spheres of study.
After presentation of special awards, the Commandant Major General Seewali Wanigasekara addressed the gathering and thanked everyone for their support to make the event a success. His speech followed the release of the first copy of the college journal â€œThe Owletâ€ which has been compiled with the support of the articles of the graduates.
Mr. Ratanasiri Wickramanayake in his brief address stressed the importance of continuing military training meant to upgrade the academic standards of the officers and other ranks.
Here is the list of names of the graduates who passed out today (12).
SRI LANKA ARMYMajor S.R.B. Aluvihare , Major W. Chandrasiri , Major T.C.L. Ganepola, Major H.G.P.M. Kariyawasam, Major J.A.R.S.K. Jayasekara, Major D.R.S.K. Wijesooriya, Major V.L.K. Jayarathne, Major P.P.A. Perera, Major D.K.S.K. Dolage, Major I.H.M.R.K. Herath, Major W.A.S.R Wijedasa, Major A.P. Wickramasekara, Major C.S. Munasinghe, Major K.V.N.P. Premaratne, Major M.T.I. Mahalekam, Major D.V.W.L. Harischandra, Major B.S. Ahamat, Major K.M.P.S.B. Kulatunga, Major P.N. Godellawatta, Major G.L.S.W. Liyanage, Major C.P. Arangalla, Major P.K.S. Nandana, Major D.C.A. Wickramasinghe, Major S.M. Atukorala, Major K.A.U. Kodituwakku, Major P.C.L. Gunawardana, Major M.P.K. Madurapperuma, Major H.A. Keerthinatha, Major A.D. Hettiarachchi. SRI LANKA NAVY
Cdr (ASW) K.K.J. de Silva, Cdr (N) S.R.M.N.G.E. Rathnayake, Lt. Cdr (G) M.M.A. Alavi
SRI LANKA AIR FORCESqn Ldr R. D.I.D. Pituwalgoda, Sqn Ldr M.E.A.L.S Fernando
HERE IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE SPEECH MADE BY HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AT THE GRADUATION CEREMONY
Reverend Sirs, Your Excellencies from the Diplomatic Crops, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Navy, Commander of the Army, Commander of the Air Force, Vice Chancellor of the Kelaniya University, Senior Officers of the Armed Forces, Distinguished Guests, Commandant of the Army Command & Staff College, Ladies & Gentlemen.
As the Deputy Minister of Defence, I am pleased to be the Chief Guest Today on this important occasion where 20 Officers from the Army, 03 Officers from the Navy, 02 Officers from the Air Force Graduate from the Army Command and Staff College having successfully completed the 07th Course of studies Conducted by the college. When the Commander of the Army invited me as the Chief Guest I very gladly accepted the invitation because I consider this event very important not only to the three services but for the entire country. This graduation ceremony signifies yet another important milestone in the progress and achievements of this hallowed military training institution. The progress achieved by this institution within a short span of time from March 1998 to this day is indeed remarkable and commendable.
The Armed Forces must train their officers during peace time to deter war, to be ready to fight if required, and to terminate wars on terms favorable to us. This requires all officers in the Armed Forces understand attain, sustain and enforce high standers of combat readiness through strenuous and realistic training designed to nurture and develop officers as leaders. The key to fighting and wining is an understanding of how we train to fight at every level. Training programmes, especially those conducted or the officers must demonstrate tactical and technical competence, confidence and initiative.
I am happy that the Army Command and Staff College has fulfilled this obligation to the services and the nation in a very commendable manner.
I am aware that these graduate officers have under gone extensive academic studies pertinent to their duties, such as military doctrine, strategic planning, decision making leadership and management and also staff duties. Being a competitive course of studies I could well understand the stress and the strain that all you student officers as well as the instructors had to undergo. But remember, the sacrifices you made are not in vain. In time to come you will realize this when you take up appointments which are challenging and demanding. What you acquired from this college will then stand in good stead and will guide you through many difficult situations.
I must also emphasis to these officers the importance of team spirit which is the guiding principle of the joint concept of operations that you studied and now ready to practice. I believe the limited resources available to the Armed Forces could partly be over come by practicing a joint concept of operations. Many nations now practice joint concept of operations and we must also acquire what is good and relevant is suit our requirements. Therefore, it is your responsibility to promote and propagate joint operations in future military endeavours.
On this memorable day, I thought it fit to advice you officers on another important aspect too. Remember, academic achievements alone will no suffice for you to progress in your long and grueling military career. Along with academic qualifications you must also strive to built your character and reputation as a honorable and efficient military officer. In order to achieve this you must always honour democratic ideals and principles, honour human rights and repulse bribery and corruption. Do not babble in politics too. Only then will society recognize you as a true military leader.
You new graduates must also impart the knowledge that you have gained to other officers in your respective services. You must encourage your subordinates to follow this reputed and highly recognized training course. Your knowledge and experience should help you encourage and motivate them to follow you. The country needs many good and efficient leaders like you.
I extend my sincere thanks to the Commandant of the Army Command and Staff College, all instructors and the other staff for the success you have achieved. Despite many difficulties and limited resources you have still managed to produce very good results. All those officers who have graduated from the army Command and Staff College stand as credentials to embody your good work.
It is my sincere wish that as already planned, in the coming year the Army Command and Staff College will progress further and be developed as the National Defence Services Staff College which will be the epitome of all military training institutions. I wish you success and strength to vigorously pursue this goal, so that this hallowed institution, can produce the leaders this nation require to maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland.
I once again wish the new graduates a very successful military career. I will not forget the sacrifices made by their family members and also the support rendered by them, which certainly would have helped these officers to be committed and focused on their studies.