News Features

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Zestful rotary rangers in the blue skies

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has served the nation with dedication for seven decades. Today we discover one of the pioneer flying formations, the No.07 Helicopter Squadron.


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Air Mobiles: The Nation’s Dazzling Future

The word ‘Air Mobile’ gives a wider meaning when it’s connected to military operations, correlating to different activities in battles, though it generally means the ability to mobilise in the air by means of aircraft, Helicopters etc. The concept of airmobile was initiated by the US military as a sling load mission during the Korean War on 13 September 1951. Since then, the airmobile concept has been implemented by all militaries in the world as a versatile, credible and a powerful military tool. The first recorded airmobile operation was conducted by 45 Commandos and Royal Marines in the Operation Musketeer on 5 November 1956 during the Suez Crisis.


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Diversified Mega Agriculture, Afforestation, Farming & Livestock Projects of the Army Bear Fruits

The Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) of the Army, well geared up towards the successful implementation of the Army Chief's 'Thuru Mithuru Nawaratak' green drive that goes hand in hand with the Presidential policy, 'Saubhagye Dekma' government framework with its troops is currently engaged in a multitude of country-wide agro-livestock projects of different magnitude and kinds across the country as per guidelines given by General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army under the close supervision of Brigadier Arosh Rajapakse, Director, DAL.


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From a call to arms to tillers of soil

The Civil Security Department (CSD) celebrates its 15th Anniversary today. It was established as the National Home Guard Service which was a Voluntary Service in the mid 1980s set up to protect the threatened villages. They were initially armed with 12 bore shotguns and they protected the threatened villages which were liberated by the Armed Forces in order to prevent these villages from falling back into the hands of the LTTE. Those who served at that time were not paid anything for their services as it was a purely voluntary service. However, some rations were issued to them through cooperative outlets.


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SLAF spreads wings of care

The Heated Humidified Oxygen Therapy (HHOT) Unit manufactured by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has been distributed to many hospitals and saved the lives of Covid infected patients. The project has become a success due to the hard work of SLAF engineering officers and technicians who have been guided by specialist doctors.


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The cradle of Sri Lanka Air Force aviators

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has an impressive fleet of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. For seven decades the SLAF has produced many pilots. When these pilots were aspiring officer cadets they were all trained at the No-01 Flying Training Wing, which is presently located at SLAF Base China Bay, Trincomalee.


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Army Quarantine Centres – A Home Away From Home

The word ‘Quarantine’ became familiar in Sri Lanka after the COVID19 pandemic. It has however, a long history around the globe during various time periods with the emergence of various different diseases reported.


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SLNS Shakthi: Sailing to Save Lives

 A voyage to fulfill oxygen requirement of the country amidst COVID-19


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Denzil Kobbekaduwa, a General loved by all

On Aug 8, 1992, a landmine planted by the LTTE assassinated Lt. Gen. Denzil Lakshman Kobbekaduwa and the finest of the top military brass


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The cradle of the Sri Lanka Air Force

The salubrious green hills of Diyatalawa are embellished with natural beauty. For decades, this hill station has been a garrison town, first discovered and established by the Royal Army in 1859, and subsequently enhanced by the Royal Air Force.


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KNDU bill won’t cause any hindrance to the country’s free education

The 90% of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University’s (KDU) lecturers are civilians, and therefore, new Act broached for Kotelawala National Defence University (KNDU) won’t cause any hindrance to the country’s free education, said the Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) yesterday (July 22).


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SLNS Sagara: the Nation’s Guardian at Sea

A few years ago, I remember the following words inscribed on a wooden plaque, a quote by Joseph Conrad which best captures the role of a naval captain at sea - “There is one who alone is ultimately responsible for the safe navigation, engineering performance, accurate gunfire and morale of his ship. This is the most demanding assignment of the Navy.”


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Seva Vanitha: A tower of strength for brave heroes of motherland

First Lady Ioma Rajapaksa presenting an award while Army Seva Vanitha Unit President Sujeewa Nelson looks on.


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Proposed KDU Bill will only govern KDU : Maj. Gen. Milinda Peiris

With a vision to educate males and females to be commissioned officers in the armed forces the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy was established in October 1980. In 1988 the educational establishment achieved university status thereby being able to confer degrees to its students. Renamed as the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in 2007, the University has kept its doors opened for civil students (day scholars) since 2012 with the objective of enhancing the civil-military relationship. However the proposed General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University (Special Provisions) Bill has been heavily criticised as many claim that it would bring about militarisation within the higher education sector. “The General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University Bill is only for KDU. With that you cannot govern any other institution in the country,” said Kotelawala Defence University Vice Chancellor Maj. Gen. Milinda Peiris (RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil (Ind)) in an interview with the . Following are excerpts of an interview done with Maj. Gen. Peiris: 


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SLNS Sindurala: A Tight Ship

Sri Lanka is a resplendent island blessed with natural resources.


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The Magnificent iron giants of the blue skies

In our continuing series on the flying formations of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), today we journey into the realm of the heavy military transporters. The No. 2 Squadron located at the SLAF Base in Katunayake is the home of the pilots and formidable aircraft that give the Air Force its heavy lift capability.


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"100 years of international cooperation in hydrography" - Sri Lanka Navy Hydrographic Service celebrates World Hydrographic Day

A need for a navigational chart aroused as man started to navigate through waters and the importance of hydrography came into play since then. Hydrography involves a process, from collecting data in the field to the preparation of the chart in accordance with the highest international standards and contributes immensely to the economic development of a country. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), which has 94 member countries including Sri Lanka, coordinates hydrographic activities worldwide through 15 Regional Hydrographic Commissions (RHCs). The IHO was founded in Monaco on 21st June 1921.


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A Resilient Army That Rises Above Challenges

A pandemic of this scale needs a quick response. Undoubtedly the military has the capacity of furnishing the manpower as well as the resources needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has halted the people’s ordinary lives since March 2020.


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SLNS Parakramabahu : Pride of the naval fleet

The location of Sri Lanka gives this nation strategic importance on maritime maps. Over the past decade,   the Sri Lanka Navy has steadily enhanced its fleet with 'blue water' capability. I was honoured to go onboard the magnificent frigate class Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Parakramabahu (P-625).


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Navy dogs Assist in daring missions

The Navy is synonymous with the ocean and ships. Interestingly the Sri Lanka Navy has a fully combat-capable ground force component for various duties. Among these shore establishments a special section of sailors are stationed at SLNS Gemunu in Welisara. These sailors are the proud handlers of the robust Navy dogs.


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SLNS Gajabahu guarding our ocean’s domain

Strategically located on the maritime map, Sri Lanka commands an important segment of the majestic Indian Ocean. Maritime security is a vital part of our overall national security objective. The Sri Lanka Navy has faithfully guarded our island for seven decades, and continues to augment its deep sea capacity. Cruising majestically at a speed of 28 knots is the formidable addition to the naval fleet, the SLNS Gajabahu. I went onboard this amazing vessel which has nine floors and two masts. As she cut through the waves, she unleashed a ripple on the waterline and the spray covered her pennant number P-626. This vessel once belonged to the American Coast Guard and was named USCGC Sherman.


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Navy ushers hope for rural children

Education is a right of every child. Students everywhere must have the right atmosphere conducive for learning. Unfortunately some rural schools face various challenges.


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Empowering ground operations

Aircraft are synonymous with a nation’s Air Force. However there are many other sections which work behind the scenes to augment the overall role and task of the Air Force. Today we discover the great but silent contribution of the SLAF Regiment (also referred to as the Rock Apes) the largest component of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF). Operating under the Directorate of Ground Operations, this command has 31 specialized regiment wings that have consistently enhanced the SLAF’s mission in achieving the overall national security objective.


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The elite naval commandos

For seven decades the Sri Lanka Navy has secured our maritime domain. Apart from its ocean-going fleet the Navy has augmented its combat capability on land with elite Special Forces personnel.


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Sandahiru Seya sacred treasures ceremonially deposited

Around 29,000 Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and CSD soldiers sacrificed their lives to liberate the country from the crutches of terrorism. Over 60,000 soldiers were injured during the war and even today, over 14,000 are confined to a wheelchair or bed having been critically injured and rendered disabled. That is how they will have to spend the rest of their lives, but they are proud of what they have done for the liberation of the country. Hence, the President and Prime Minister embarked on a project to erect the ‘Sandahiru Seya’ in memory of all these valiant war heroes who gave their all for the country.