Launching of 100th indigenous special designed fighting boat by the Sri Lanka Navy
By Ravin Edirisinghe
Sri Lanka Navy repeated the history of rich ship building culture in this country after nearly nine centuries at a ceremony held in SLNS Gemunu naval base at Welisara to mark the launch of the 100th indigenous special designed fighting boat for both Special Boats Squadron (SBS) and for the newly introduced Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) yesterday (11 September) with the blessings of Mr. Gotabya Rajapaksa the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and with the presence of the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and other senior naval officials.
Secretary of Defence during his visit to Welisara naval base, had a close look at some of the important developments that are been taken place in the navy in order to fight sea tigers out at sea and certain developments related to ground operations too.
After launching the 100th “Arrow” type specially designed fighting craft for SBS and RABS Secretary Defence addressed the naval officers and sailors. He stated that the Sri Lanka Navy has received appreciation from His Excellency the President, from the Government and also from the public at large due to the military successes navy achieved during the past couple of years.
Expressing his views further, Secretary Defence stated that during a recent visit to Mannar, he had the opportunity of experiencing how these “Arrow” boats operatations and also the effort the naval personal put when conducting these operations. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksha also stated that the naval deep sea operations and its successes in destroying three LTTE floating arms warehouses couple of years ago at long distances like 3000 Km. The Navy also made a lot of success in limiting sea tiger attacks closer to the shore during the past. He stated that these victories show nothing but the navy’s sheer dedication and strength. He also commended the systematic changes that are been taken place with the navy as well as in other services and stated that this is why we are now winning the war against the LTTE after many years.
Commending on the naval indigenous construction of these boats, the Secretary Defence stated that the navy has decided what they want to fight with the enemy the way the navy wants. Today the navy constructs some of these boats for half of the price in the market and from some boats navy has saved about 35 to 40% for the country.
Secretary also stated that there was a time where the sea tigers were seen as a fierce force, but the navy during the past couple of years have done the needful and today the sea tigers are at a very low activity stage. The threat to the navy from the sea tigers are almost none. The navy has created history by going deep into the seas and destroying LTTE ships. The tireless effort the navy has put in during the past has placed the navy at a distinguished place today. The Secretary went on to paise all the officers and sailors in the navy for their effort and said that even though most of the people see the end result, there are many behind theses achievements.
Navy Commander addressing the gathering said, he is very much privileged to have the Secretary Defence as the chief guest for the function and also stated that his presence further encourage the navy to do their task in the future with all strength.
Officers and sailors who contributed in making this project a success was awarded with commendation letters by the Secretary Defence.
The event came to an end with the awarding of a souvenir to the Secretary of Defence by the Navy Commander.
- Asian Tribune -