- Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda (Rtd) appointed Admiral of the Fleet
- Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathilake (Rtd) appointed Marshal of the Air Force
By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda (Rtd) and Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathilake (Rtd) were honoured to the ranks of Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Air Force respectively by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday.
They were promoted to the five star ranks at a State Investiture Ceremony held at the harbour premises, Colombo.
This highest rank awarded in the tri-services of a country is uniquely signified by five stars and is an honorary military rank.
This special non-retiring rank of Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force are on par with the status of a Cabinet Minister.
The Air Force said that the Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force is expected to bear a special baton in the left hand in symbolizing his status.
An Admiral of the Fleet and a Marshal of the Air Force salutes only the President or the King of a country. Admiral Karannagoda and Air Chief Marshal Goonetileke took up their respective positions before the special citations were read out by the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne.
The two flags of the Admiral of the Fleet and the Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force were then officially unveiled. Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda served as the Commander of the Navy from 2005 to 2009 and Air Chief Marshal Goonatileke served as the Commander of the Air Force from 2006 to 2011.
Defence Secretary General Shantha Kottegoda (Retd), former Navy Commanders, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force and a host of senior officers from the tri-services were attended the ceremony.