Sri Lanka Navy welcomes its first ever Lady Commodore in to its folds. A medical doctor by profession, Captain Indranee Yvonne Amarasinghe, was promoted to the rank of Commodore on the 31st July 2007 effective from the 01st July 2006. Thus, she will be remembered for being the first ever Lady Commodore in the annals of the Sri Lanka Navy.
Commodore Amarasinghe holds an illustrious academic record to her credit. After obtaining her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree (MBBS) from the University of Colombo in 1978, she went on to complete her Master of Surgery at the same university in 1985. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh (FRCS) and an honorary Fellow of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland. Due to her excellent academic credentials, Commodore Amarasinghe has been appointed to the Court of Examiners of the Royal College of Surgeons of England for post graduate surgical examinations. She is very articulate about matters pertaining to her profession and, as a result, was conferred with academic honours for presenting the Best Scientific Paper by the College of Surgeons in 1993 and for the Best Free Paper by the Kandy Society of Medicine in 2000.
Inculcating the knowledge she has acquired over the years in the aspiring younger generations of medicine has been a passion which Commodore Amarasinghe cherishes most. She works as an external lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine and also as a clinical tutor at the Faculties of Medicine at Ragama, Colombo and Sri Jayawardenepura Universities. At the same time, she is an external examiner for final MBBS examinations of Universities of Ragama, Sri Jayawardenepura and Colombo.
Amidst her busy working schedule, Commodore Amarasinghe is engaged in a multitude of research activities. At present, she is conducting research attached to the Microbiology Unit of the Sri Jayawardenepura University. She is also working on a Sentinel Node Biopsy Project dealing with the management of breast cancer. In addition to these, she is conducting a study on thyroid cancers.
Being a woman of great achievement, Commodore Amarasinghe has the rare privilege of winning the Zonta International Award - Women of Achievement Award for Medicine in 2003 and the Zonta International Award - Woman of Achievement Award for Outstanding Recognition in 2004. She was the Vice President of the College of Surgeons from 2003 to 2005 and was its President from 2005 to 2006. At present, she is the President of the College of Oncologist.
Commodore Amarasinghe holds a distinguished naval career prior to her elevation to the rank of Commodore. She joined the Volunteer Naval Force in 1990. She has rendered a yeoman service to the Navy being attached to various naval bases in the island. In 1993, at the Trincomalee Naval Base, she treated the naval casualties during the attacks on rebel targets in the area. She performed surgeries on war casualties during the sea tiger attacks on the same base in 1994. Being attached to the Palaly Army base, she operated on war casualties, both Army and Navy, during operations in and around Jaffna in 1995. Back at the Trincomalee Naval Base in 1998, she performed routine and emergency surgeries on naval personnel stationed on the base. She was there to handle naval casualties during attacks around the Trincomalee area by rebel tigers in 2000. Since 2002, Commodore Amarasinghe has been the Naval Surgeon at the NHQ Operation Theatre which is fully equipped to handle major and intermediate surgeries for naval personnel. In addition to her duties at the NHQ Hospital, she organizes regular training for naval theatre nursing staff and theatre assistants at the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama where she works as the Consultant Surgeon and Head of Department of Surgical Oncology in her civilian capacity. At the NHQ Hospital, she conducts weekly outpatient clinics for naval personnel on Tuesday afternoons and weekly theatre sessions on Thursday afternoons. She also performs elective weekend surgeries at naval bases in Trincomalee and Karainagar when there is a collection of patients. This ensures that all operating theatres are kept in continual use and ready for emergencies.
In her leisure time, Commodore Amarasinghe takes part in rally navigating. She has very good company in her husband who is a keen rally driver himself. So far, she has taken part in 10 rallies including SLARDAR 1000 km rallies and her highest placing has been the 04th out of 51 competitors. She loves breeding fish, especially gold fish and piranhas. She is also an enthusiastic wild life camper.
Commodore Amarasinghe is a great inspiration to the ladies who are aspiring to join the Sri Lanka Navy which offers excellent career opportunities tailor made to those who sign up to render their services to the nation. There are many success stories of lady naval officers and women sailors who have risen through the ranks due to their excellence of intellect, talent and performance. Sri Lanka Navy is proud to possess such dedicated ladies who dare to tread on a path traditionally reserved to their male counterparts.
Sri Lanka Navy salutes them for being different from the ordinary.