The naval personnel on board the SLN ships, which took part in the naval operation that destroyed three LTTE logistics ships in the southern part of Sri Lanka last week, were accorded a warm reception at the Port of Trincomalee today (17) at 11.35 a.m. His Excellency the President, Mahinda Rajapakse, Commander in Chief of the Armed forces was the chief guest. Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, G.L. Peiris, Milinda Moragoda, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Douglas Devananda, Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake and a large number of VIP’s were also present on the occasion. Gothabhaya Rajapakse, Secretary of Defence, Air Marshal Donald Perera, Chief of Defence Staff and Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy were in attendance.
The SLN ships, SLNS Sayura (acquired from India), SLNS Suranimala (acquired from Israel), SLNS Samudura (formerly “US Courageous”, acquired from USA) and SLNS Shakthi (acquired from China) assisted by two other logistics vessels, A 520 and A 521 formed the naval task force which carried out the naval operation on the 10th and 11th September 2007 in the high seas 1200 kilometers south east of Dondra.
The Commanding Officers of the ships and Officers in Command of the logistics vessels were presented with letters of commendation by President Rajapakse in recognition of their heroic achievement in the defense of the nation.
In concurrence with the official reception accorded to the naval heroes, the commissioning of a new jetty at the Port of Trincomalee was held at the Eastern Naval Area Command. The commemorative plaque was unveiled by His Excellency the President amidst the blowing of “magul bera”and conch shells. A reception for the VIP’s was held on board the A 545 Passenger Craft, “Jetliner” to mark the commissioning of the new jetty. The “Jetliner”, which has won the affection of the security forces personnel, deployed in the northern peninsula, for accommodating them on her routine stints from Trincomalee to Kankasanthurei and back, had the honour of making the inaugural berth at the newly opened jetty, which was constructed with the expertise of the civil engineers of the Sri Lanka Navy without any foreign assistance, thus saving a large sum of money to the country.