Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sri Lanka Navy: Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Committed to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Motherland, preserving the strength it gained by its pivotal contribution to the eradication of the 30-year long brutal terrorism off the Lankan soils intact, utilizing the same efforts used for the destruction of the supply and escape routes of the terrorists through its continuous surveillance along our coastal belt and territorial waters and thwarting the re-emergence of terrorism in the country, Sri Lanka Navy is fortifying itself into a more formidable force today.

The necessity to re-establish a Naval Force was felt during World War I in the island of Sri Lanka, which had once made admirable victories in Naval battles having sailed into foreign countries during the reigns of its great kings such as Parakramabhahu and Vijayabhahu.

Sri Lanka Navy came into being 60 years ago on December 9, 1950 as the Royal Ceylon Navy with the integration of the Royal Ceylon Volunteer Navy and the Ceylon Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (CRNVR) which expanded from the Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force (CNVF) formed as a fulfillment of that necessity.

During the period Captain Banks became the Commander of the Navy. In the 1950s, Royal Ceylon Navy received the ship ‘Vijaya’ from Britain as a gift. The commissioning ceremony of this ship was presided over by the late Prime Minister D S Senanayake.

Queen Elizabeth
It was onboard the ship ‘Nonik’ that Queen Elizabeth arrived in Ceylon in 1954 as the Head of the Commonwealth. It was the Royal Ceylon Navy which accorded the Guard of Honour to her. In 1954 Drum Major Cruse made a creative contribution by training a music band for the Royal Ceylon Navy.

0n September 19, 1955, the helm of the Navy was transferred from white hands to black hands with the handing over of the post of Commander of the Royal Ceylon Navy to Captain Royce de Mel by the last European Captain Chavasse.

During this decade the challenging task entrusted to the Royal Ceylon Navy was the tackling of illegal immigrants and smugglers arriving from South India. The Karainagar Naval Base was established to prevent this menace. The small vessels ‘Hansaya’ and ‘Lihiniya’ were acquired as a solution to this preventive policy.
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