18th December 2015 04:30:41 Hours
A record 114 student officers of the tri services and 15 foreign officers who had successfully completed the Course No 9 of the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) at Sapugaskanda received their psc (passed staff college) graduation certificates during the convocation, held amid dignity and grandeur at the college auditorium on Thursday (17) evening.
Hon Ruwan Wijewardene, State Minister of Defence graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest at the invitation of Major General Udaya Perera, Commandant, DSCSC. Past Commanders, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Navy, Air Force Commanders, members of the diplomatic corps, Defence Ministry officials, family members of graduating officers and a gathering of senior officers were also present at the occasion.
Tri service student officers, including Army (60), Navy (19), Air Force (19) and one Sri Lanka Administrative Service official of the Ministry of Finance graduated after completing their one-year training at the prestigious seat of learning.
Fifteen foreign student officers from Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Maldives, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Rwanda and Uganda are among those psc graduates who followed the course.
The day’s ceremony kicked off with observance of a moment of silence as a tribute to the memory of all fallen War Heroes as the gathering rose to their feet. As the momentum rose, all the graduates were called upon to receive their parchments from the day’s chief guest in order of precedence.
As the occasion rose to its climax, the stage was ready to award a few special awards to student officers who displayed outstanding performances during the course.
The Golden Owl Award for the most exceptional performance was awarded to Major L. L. I. S. Lokuliyanage (Army Wing) Commander (H) R. M. L. Rathnathilake, (Navy Wing) and Wing Commander W. U. S. De Silva (Air Wing) during the programme. The Golden Pen Award, generally presented for the Best Research Paper was received by Lieutenant Commander (ASW) S. K. Vidanage.
The most outstanding foreign student award went to two student officers; Major K. M. Mehedi Hasan (Bangladesh) and Squadron Leader M. D. Omar Karim (Bangladesh).
‘The Owlet’, the annual journal of the college was also presented to the guests during the ceremony.
Major General Udaya Perera, Commandant, DSCSC and Minister Ruwan Wijewardene delivered brief speeches to the occasion.
The Army Command and Staff College (ACSC), the precursor to the DSCSC was inaugurated in March 1998 with the first course with 26 Student Officers. The ACSC was established initially with the aim of developing the professional knowledge and understanding of selected Student Officers both in the aspects of command and staff for the Sri Lanka Army. Later on, a few selected Student Officers from the Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force were also accommodated in the course.
The change from ACSC to DSCSC could be perceived as an indication, shown from the very inception on the importance of a Joint Services atmosphere and professionalism at the highest level.
In January 2007, the DSCSC Course No 1 commenced with Army, Navy and Air Force Student Officers. As time advanced opportunities were extended to foreign students upon their inquiry. So far more than 570 local and 57 foreign Student Officers have graduated from this esteemed seat of learning and had earned the title, psc (Passed Staff College).