04th February 2023 06:07:30 Hours
On the eve of the 75th National Independence Day anniversary, a total of 53 most Senior Army Officers, 17 most Senior Navy Officers and 7 most Senior Air Force Officers (both retired and serving) who had maintained exceptional, distinguished, unblemished and loyal service of moral and military conduct for not less than 25 years were conferred the ‘Vishishta Seva Vibushanaya’ (VSV) decoration today (1 Feb) by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency the President Ranil Wickremesinghe during a conferment ceremony at the President’s House in Kandy.
During the same ceremony, the customary award of the newly-crafted ‘75th Independence Anniversary Commemoration’ medal to a group of representative Officers and Other Ranks took place as has been the tradition for so many years before the National Independence Day. HE the President symbolically pinned those medals onto the recipients.
The conferment ceremony got to a start soon after HE the President reached the venue. The occasion turned solemn and silent afterwards as everyone rose to feet to pay tribute to the memory of all fallen War Heroes as the first item on the agenda. Next was the reading of the citation for award of the ‘75th National Independence Day’ Medal. A symbolic group of Tri Service Officers received the medal from HE the President Ranil Wickremesinghe who pinned the medal on them.
The day’s ceremony after a while assumed greater significance as the citation for the decoration, ‘Vishishta Seva Vibushanaya’ (VSV) was read out. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces was then invited to confer the prestigious VSV decoration on all 77 Senior Tri Service Officers who had rendered an unblemished service to the country for more than 25 years.
Soon after the conferment, all medal recipients joined for group photos.
State Minister of Defence, Hon. Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Chief of Staff of the President and Senior Advisor to the President, Mr Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary to the President, Mr E.M.S.B Ekanayake, Secretary to Ministry of Defence, General (Retd) Kamal Gunarathne, Chief of Defence Staff, General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana and a representative gathering of retired and serving Tri Service Officers were associated with the ceremony.