Two newly commissioned lady pilots write the SLAF history - Defence Secretary

November 16, 2020

  • Be responsible and accountable for country’s resources given by the public
  • Gain the respect but not to demand

Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said today is a very special day for the Air Force and the entire country as we mark the commissioning of two lady pilots for the first time in the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) history while extending his heartiest congratulations to the newly commissioned SLAF officers.

While praising their achievements, the Defence Secretary stated “we witnessed one lady pilot becoming the first in order of merit, receiving the sword of honour of an intake and also commanding the Parade”.   

He expressed these views while gracing the Officer Cadets’ Commissioning Parade ceremony held at the SLAF Academy in China Bay, Trincomalee today (Nov 16).

The ceremonial parade commissioned 53 news officers into the SLAF cadre including two lady officers during today's elegant military ceremony.

Accordingly, Officer Cadets of Intake 61, Lady Officer Cadet of Intake 13, Intakes of Kotelawala Defence University number 33 and 34 received their commission today.

Mentioning on the afforded resources by the country with utmost difficulties Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said “all must bear in mind that one simple mistake could result in catastrophic failures which undermine the credibility and confidence that you have been bestowed upon by the citizens of the country”.    

Stating on individual right for self-defence, he said “every nation in this world should defend herself from any threat against her” adding that “the nation states are entitled to have a sizable defence force to protect it from any internal or external aggression”.

We also possess a sizable but renowned armed force that was capable to deter the grave threat posed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, known as the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world, he also said.  

Mentioning the significant role played by the SLAF being the guardians over the skies to establish peace in the country, Defence Secretary said “we must be proud of our Air Force which had been able to extend its fullest support in deterring the threat posed by the LTTE”.

Welcoming the newly commissioned officers to the family of defence, he said, “from today, you swear an oath to be responsible and accountable for the resources that will be made under your command”. May it be the human resource, aircraft or other equipment, you will be responsible for all these resources because those are given and sustained by the country’s general public, Defence Secretary added.

Stressing on the value of respect to everyone, he said “you cannot demand the respect, you have to gain it”         

Venerable Maha Sangha, revered religious dignitaries, distinguished invitees, Air Force Commander, Senior SLAF and military officers, parents, newly commissioned officers and other military ranks were also present at the event.