First Group of Army Women De-miners Receive Insignia from Army Chief
The first batch of women de-miners of the Army who have completed the internationally-acclaimed Humanitarian De-mining Course of high standards had the privilege of getting their insignia pinned from the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage after they were invited to the Army HQ on Wednesday (22).
Expressing happiness and extending his best wishes to those women soldiers, now fully-fledged to undertake overseas UN Peacekeeping Missions, the day’s Chief Guest, the Army Chief highlighted the significance of their achievement to the Army and the motherland.
A group of 3 Lady Officers and 51 female Other Ranks, having undergone the De-mining Course for women soldiers which began in December 2021 under two batches at both Engineers’ Brigade Headquarters in Boo Oya and 10 Field Engineers HQ in Mailaddy, Jaffna thus received their insignia from the Commander of the Army during the brief occasion.
The De-mining Course, inclusive of field operations drew to a close early this year after they sat for the final examination phase under the close supervision of Major General MK Jayawardena RSP USP ndu, Chief Field Engineer and Colonel Commandant, Sri Lanka Engineers.
Wednesday’s simple ceremony for insignia pinning started off soon after the arrival of the day’s Chief Guest, and the welcome note. A short video documentary that comprehensively showcased the progress of the Army humanitarian de-mining role, training sessions, recoveries, and ongoing de-mining projects, etc was screened afterwards before the gathering.
Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, together with Major General U.D Wijesekara RWP RSP USP rcds psc, Colonel Commandant of the Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps and Commander, Security Forces-Mullaitivu, Major General M.K Jayawardena RSP USP ndu, Chief Field Engineer and Colonel Commandant, Sri Lanka Engineers and Major General A.H.L.G Amarapala RWP RSP ndc psc, General Officer Commanding of the Engineer Division reaching the climax of the event pinned those symbolic insignia onto those brave women soldiers who had completed the Course.
The Commander of the Army in his brief talk to them commended their sustained courage for completion of the Humanitarian De-mining Course in keeping with scheduled time frame, and congratulated them for undertaking such a challenge with determination and fearlessness. He also reminded the gathering that their contribution in the future for world peace as women de-miners of Sri Lanka would go into the Army history and keep the national flag flying bringing international admiration.
At the end of the pinning ceremony, a woman de-miner raised the vote of thanks. Senior Officers, Officers and Other Ranks participated in the ceremony, held at the Army HQ.
Three Lady Officers and 51 Other Ranks who had graduated in the De-mining Course for women de-miners are currently performing de- mining roles at the de-mining site in Maillady, Jaffna alongside their male counterparts in order to gain and refresh continued de-mining experiences and knowledge for future UN Peacekeeping Missions.
The Course for women soldiers covering more than a year commenced at the Engineers’ Brigade Headquarters in Boo Oya on 30 December 2021 and moved to the next phase at the 10 Field Engineers HQ in Mailaddy, Jaffna on 6 June 2022 where ground minefield operations under the close supervision of the Chief Field Engineer, Major General MK Jayawardena RSP USP ndu got underway.
Earlier, all those 54 Army-trained women de-miners received Certificates of Proficiency several weeks ago at the Army HQ adding a special chapter to the reputed de-mining assignments.