Thurstanites honoured for gallantry
With unquestioned dedication to their Motherland, these battle
hardened men of the three forces and police in their war of liberation
added a new chapter to the country's history. Undoubtedly they are a
blessing to their loved ones and above all the greatest pride to their
The war heroes with College Principal
And definitely it is this pride and honour they felt, led the
Thurstan College to felicitate their brave men who were in the forefront
of the Eelam War IV that liberated the country from LTTE terrorism. The
College also share the pride of producing a unique leader, President
Mahinda Rajapaksa to lead he country to prosperity.
Victorious Thurstanites received honours from their alma mater on
June 30 - as icons of bravery, courage and dedication. Headed by
Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickramaratne, Brigadier
Sathyapriya Liyanage, Colonel G.V. Ravipriya, Lieutenant Colonel
Harendra Ranasinghe, Lieutenant Colonel Ajith Colambathanthri,
Lieutenant Colonel Lal Chandrasiri of the Sri Lanka Army, Wing Commander
Sampath Thuiyakontha of the Sri Lanka Air Force and Captain Hasantha
Ediriweera of the Sri Lanka Navy - all proud products of the Thurstan
College - received their lives greatest honour amidst a large gathering
of young Thurstanites.
The presence of most of the past teachers of all these War Heroes
added glamour to the occasion. They might have displayed glimpses of
dedication and courage during their school days yet no one would have
thought they would become heroes of their Motherland.
Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickramarathne with a second
class honours degree in Public Administration joined the Sri Lanka
Police as a Probationary Assistant Superintendent of Police and served
in many parts of the country before being appointed as head of the
During his long career of 34 years in the Police, Wickramarathne has
receives 'Poorna Bhoomi' award, Sri Lanka Police award for excellent
service and Presidential awards as well.
Brigadier Sathyapriya Liyanage, a gallant Armed Corp Officer who led
the troops to victory from many positions both in the Northern and the
Wanni frontlines was a War Hero who was felicitated at the ceremony.
Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Sri Lanka Army on November
16 in 1985, Brigadier Liyanage was notable from his inception as a
Commanding Officer of the Armed Corps, a strict administrator performed
excellently as a General Officer Commanding in launching the final
battle against LTTE terrorists. He was awarded the 'Poorna Bhoomi'
medal, North East Service medal, 'Rana Wickrama' medal, 'Riviresa' medal
and some more!
Fighting valiantly till the last LTTE terrorist was vanquished
Colonel G. Vijitha Ravipirya, as the Commander of Task Force 8, played a
significant role in the Wanni Humanitarian mission.
With the solid intention of eradicating terrorism from the
motherland, Colonel Ravipriya a dedicated and understanding leader
carried with him the true values he absorbed as a fine young man at his
Alma Mater. On April 10 in 1986, on the day he was commissioned as an
officer, Col. Ravipriya became the best cadet of his batch. He was
moulded as a solid Army officer first at the Kothalawala Defence Academy
and then at the Military Academy at Diyathalawa. Next to his beloved
parents, it was the Thurstan College that definitely laid the solid base
for this great warrior of the Artillery Regiment. He is a disciplined,
yet a kind father to a daughter and a son. Despite suffering severe
injuries due to a land mine explosion while on his way to take over duty
at Talaimannar Camp in 1987, the mere "luck" saved him as he was
destined to save his motherland.
Then a young Thurstanite, Harendra Parakrama Ranasinghe clearly
realized that his task was to save the country with all his might on the
day the LTTE massacred hundreds of innocent devotees at the foot of
sacred Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura gave up his dream to become a
lawyer. Lieutenant Colonel Harendra Ranasinghe, joined the S.L. Army as
an infantryman in the Gemunu Watch and served in every part of the North
and the East during his entire career including his service in the
Special Forces as well.
His exceptional service to the country and his dedication and
commitment was vivid in the hard battles he fought during 'Riviresa'
operation, 'Sathjaya' operations I and II and during the Wanni
humanitarian mission which he served under the 58 and 57 Divisions and
Lt. Col. Ranasinghe has made himself of an exemplary father shaping up
his young son of whom he is very much proud of.Lt. Col. Ajith
Colambathanthri's interest in an Army career grew up since his school
days at Thurstan Cadet Platoon.
He joined the Army in 1988 under the 26th Intake to the Military
Academy in Diyathalawa. This true Gunner contributed greatly to 'Akunu
Pahara', 'Riviresa' I,II, III, Shake Hand I,II,III, 'Edibala' and 'Jayasikuru'
operations. Being attached to the 58 Division, Lt. Col. Colambathantri
became "mastermind" behind the advancing soldiers providing artillery
support during the entire northern operation.
His capability in coordinating and managing an uninterrupted
supportive fire power was a solid base for the victories and successes
of the Division. He was awarded 'Ranashura', 'Poorna Bhoomi' and a medal
for his gallantry in the Northern and Eastern battles.
Commanding the 9 Gemunu Watch, Lt. Col. Lal Chandrasiri, a true
Thurstanite brought honour to his Alma Mater. His victories at
Andankulam, Pooneryn and Elephantpass were significant.
The great warrior led his men until the East was liberated and the
battle against terrorism became a success.As an exceptional infantryman
of the Gemunu Watch, Lt. Col. Chandrasiri sets an example not only to
the young Thurstanites but clearly to the entire younger generation
which includes his beloved son and daughter who stood with him patiently
until he finished his mission.
The Sri Lanka Air Force and the Navy are also proud of its
Thurstanites. Thurstan also honoured a true son of this land serving in
the Sri Lanka Air Force, Wing Commander Sampath Thuiyakontha, with his
extensive training as an excellent helicopter pilot, an asset to the
country, Wing Commander Thuiyakontha skilfully led the Squadron of the
MI 24s - the battle tank of the Air Force against enemy targets.
Penetrating into the enemy territory and demolishing enemy defence
lines, this valiant warrior did more than his best to serve the
motherland risking his own life several times. During his career
starting from 1988, Wing Commander Thuiyakontha never failed in any of
his given tasks.
Even amidst the adverse situations he would make that daring effort
to support the ground troops by destroying the LTTE or rescuing military
personnel sandwiched between enemy lines. He brought the greatest pride
to the Thurstan College and surely he deserves this honour!
Shaped up especially in the College cadet platoon, Captain Hasantha
Ediriweera of the Sri Lanka Navy is a proud product of Thurstan College.
Joining the Navy in 1989 as a Sub Lieutenant, Ediriweera played a key
role in the Navy during 'Jayasikuru' operation and later in the Mannar
Captain Hasantha Ediriweera carried with him the glory of being a
Thurstanite into his service in the Navy as well. Thus, he deserves the
honour from his Alma Mater.
The Thurstan College honoured these gallant warriors of the Wanni
Humanitarian War among the hundreds of Thurstanites serving in the Army,
Navy, Air Force and the Police bringing glory to the motherland.