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Sri Lanka Navy pays tribute to fallen war-hero

Sri Lanka Navy paid tribute to the heroic Lieutenant Commander Prabath Jayawardene, a young exemplary Naval officer who was a great source of strength and mentor to men under his command. He showed great professionalism and whole-hearted dedication to serve his motherland bravely against all odds at a very crucial time in the Sri Lankan history. As a gesture of eternal gratitude, the Naval married quarters at Gorakagahawatte in Ja Ela were renamed in his memory at a function presided over by Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Rohan Amarasinghe on last Thursday (28th February). The occasion was also graced by senior Naval officers and his colleagues, honouring the great sacrifice of a true son of Mother Lanka.
Prabath joined the Navy at a time when the country was gripped with brutal terrorism on 16th October 1995 as a cadet officer. He came to Trincomalee for Naval training at a time when the terrorists’ attacks were at their peak. On completion of his training, he joined the Fourth Fast Attack Craft Flotilla (FAF4). He soon earned wide recognition due to bravery in battle and knowledge he possessed of his craft and its weapons. During the battles, he himself manned the main gun and bravely confronted the enemy whilst giving command to men under him. In recognition of his exemplary conduct as the second officer-in-command, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 16th April 2000.

A fierce battle arose between the SLN’s Dvoras and LTTE’s Sea Tigers in the seas off Vettilaikerni on 05th June 2000. Prabath fought bravely as the second officer-in-command of P496. He assisted in rescuing the injured officers and sailors from the sinking P482 by going alongside amidst heavy enemy attack. Having provided first aid with Additional Officer, Sub Lieutenant Prathapa Manu Abewickrema and sailors onboard P 496, he assisted in the evacuation of them from the battle site utilizing another Dovra craft. While back in battle, the P496 he was onboard was tragically destroyed. An year later Prabath was declared as an officer killed in action and posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

The parents of Prabath were determined to continue their contribution to the motherland. They gifted one acre land at No. 136/1, Batagama North, Ja Ela in a gesture revealing his father’s fond affiliation to the Navy. With 23 houses built in it, the Gorakagahawatte Naval married quarter’s complex was declared open on 01st September 2003. Until his demise on 26thJuly 2010, the late Jayawardene and his wife had been of great assistance and blessing to the Naval families living there.

The houses built with SLN assistance on the land gifted by the Late Wickremarathne Jayawardene in memory of his beloved son will provide shelter to the Naval personnel and their family members who will be ever grateful to their generosity.

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