Navy Commander Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe retires. The new Commander Vice Admiral Somatilake Dissanayake assumes office.
The farewell ceremony of Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe took place according to traditions at the Naval Headquarters. After the conduct of multi religious observances, Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe handed over the Sword to his new Commander amidst the chanting of Pirith. Accepting the greetings of Senior Naval Officers, Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe bid adieu amidst a Guard-of-Honour. He was the 16th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. He retired today after a significant service for 36 years which included operations in the North and East.
Meanwhile, the new Navy Commander Vice Admiral Somatilake Dissanayake was accorded a Guard of Honour. He commenced his duties amidst the chanting of Pirith and the blessings of the Maha Sangha. Among those present was Neluka Dissanayake. Thereafter, joining in a meeting with media personnel, the new Navy Commander said among his future aspirations was to make the Navy a vital contributor to the development of the country effecting a conceptual change. He assured that no room would be left for terrorism to raise its ugly head.
In the 60 year history of the Sri Lanka Navy, Somatilake Dissanayake is the most decorated Naval Officer. He survived an LTTE suicidal attack and in the process rescued the life of a comrade and was bestowed with the “Veerodara Vibushanaya” for his bravery. He was been decorated for gallantry with two “Ranasura” medals and has been awarded the “Vishista Seva Vibushanaya”, the “Uttama Seva” medal and eleven commemorative, campaign and service medals. Besides, he is the recipient of three decorative badges which include the Five Star commendation badge. He is a past pupil of the Mayurapada Vidyalaya in Narammala and the first Commander and becomes the first Military Officer the reach the pinnacle of a Military service amongst products of Central Colleges in Sri Lanka. He is also the first to do so from the North-Western Province.