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Sunday, 14 September 2008

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SLN launches 100th Arrow Boat



Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa inpects the workshop

The Sri Lanka Navy launched its 100th Arrow Boat at a gathering in SLNS Gemunu in Welisara, on Thursday. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was the chief guest. It was a proud moment for the Navy.

Creating water craft according to their own requirements is an achievement to the Sri Lanka Navy. At a time where their service is essential to protect the territorial integrity of the country this step is significant.

Protecting the country from foreign invasions has been the prime duty of the Naval forces.

With such an enormous responsibility on their shoulders sailors need equipment which could cater to their needs.

It is rightly said by the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in his address that the outer view does not demonstrate the unseen strength and commitment of the sailors. “Having our own equipment at the right time is the biggest achievement in the fight against terrorism,” the Defence Secretary said.

Lieutenant Commander Upali Jayathissa, the present Senior Project Engineer of the inshore patrol craft construction said manufacture of Arrow Boats is at its optimum.

“We are ready to adopt our services to meet the changes,” he added. “The officers and sailors are happy as they get new boats every month,” he said.


The 100th Arrow Boat of the SLN.
Pix: Kavindra Perera

Lieutenant Commander Samantha Samaranayake who was at the initial stages of the project as the Senior Project Engineer said that they were able to create a proto type arrow boat within a month and it was a success. “We knew the commitment demanded from us as the project is supported with public money,” he added.

The team inspired by the dedication of the Navy Commander and the Director General Engineering Rear Admiral D.N. Dharamaweera work long hours to meet the demand of their colleagues.

With the escalation of terrorists’ sea attacks the Navy bravely changed its conventional stratergies to adopt new tactics. SLN was able to halt the mass scale supply of weapons and ammunition to terrorists via sea. They were able to destroy around ten large ships carrying weapons for the LTTE, which were similar to floating store houses, during 2006 -2007.

Defence Secretary distributed token commendation certificates among twenty naval personnel who contributed to this gigantic task, following the welcome speech of the Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda.

The Sri Lanka Navy hopes that this endeavour would pave the way to construct medium and large ships in the near future.

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