The 10th intake of the Kotelawala Defence University (formerly the Kotelawala Defence Academy) celebrates its 27th anniversary on Friday, 8 November.
Serving and retired officers of the intake have organised a Bodhi Pooja Pinkama to be held at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya in the evening on the day of the anniversary, mainly to invoke blessings on and to commemorate the great sacrifices made by the seven fallen war heroes of this intake and also on the four other members of the intake who have passed away due to natural causes, with the participation of parents, wives and children of the fallen/deceased.
Lieutenant Saman Muttettuwatta (Navy), Captain Muditha Abeysekera (Army), Captain Saliya Fernando (Army), Major Duminda Attanagoda (Army), Major Nandana Jayasinghe (Army), Major Terrance McKelvie (Army) and Commander Nishantha Abeysinghe (Navy) of the KDU Ten laid down their lives in the line of duty and 2nd Lieutenant Harischandra Nanayakkara (Army), Major Prasad Perera (Army) and Lieutenant Sriyanjith Nagahawatta (Army) passed away untimely due to natural causes while Midshipman Jagath Rajapaksha (Navy) succumbed to injuries he received from a training-related accident occurred while undergoing training at Naval & Maritime Academy in Trincomalee in 1993.
The 10th intake, comprising 73 Officer Cadets, was inducted to the KDU, at the height of the war, on 8 November 1992 to begin their training as future military leaders of the Army (46), Navy (22) and the Air Force (five). The intake graduated in 1995 producing 30 Army Officers, 20 Navy Officers and three Air Force Officers.
Officers of the KDU Ten, like everyone else who joined the forces during that era, were actively involved in the country’s war effort to rescue the country from the clutches of terrorism and by the time the war ended victoriously wiping out the LTTE terrorist organisation and its leadership from the face of our motherland, seven of their fellow officers (five Army and two Navy) had made the supreme sacrifice and many had received battle injuries-related disabilities while their Officers had been decorated with five WWVs (Weera Wickrama Padakkama), eight RWPs (Rana Wickrama Padakkama) and 41 RSPs (Rana Sura Padakkama).
They also take this opportunity to pay their respects and remember with gratitude the late General Sir John Kotelawala, on whose ideals – For the Motherland Forever – and donation of resources, the KDU was established in 1980.