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PROJECT ONE - Orders, Decorations and Medals relating to Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
from 1795 to the present.

A sample of a Gallantry Decoration from Part Two of Project One


Instituted by Presidential Proclamation in Gazette No 156/5 of 1.9.1981

Description: A circular medal

Obverse: Bears in relief, in the center a stylized figure of the Heraldic Lion as depicted in the Lion Flag of the Kandyan Period surrounded by a curved leaf motif (GETAKOLA) and a lotus motif (NELUM MAL).

Reverse: Bears in relief the Armorial Ensign of the Republic of Sri Lanka in the center comprising the Heraldic Lion of Sri Lanka surrounded by a lotus petal border within a sheaf of paddy, surmounted by the wheel of Doctrine, with the filled vessel at the base, with a depiction of the sun in splendour and the Moon, on the right and left respectively, surrounded by the legend 'FOR GALLANTRY OF THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL ORDER' inscribed in Sinhala and Tamil and the year of institution, 1981 inscribed below, and the whole surrounded by the design as depicted in the obverse.

Metal: Silver gilt.

Suspension: Ornamental fixed suspender bearing a creeper leaf motif (LIYAPATHA)

Ribbon: Red (described as being wine in colour) 1 1/4 inches

Bars: Awarded for those who qualify on a subsequent occasion to receive this Decoration. In undress uniform, when ribbons only are worn, the wearing of a small gilted Lotus on the ribbon denotes the grant of a bar.

This Decoration is granted to all ranks of the Regular and Volunteer Forces of the Army, Navy and the Air Force of the Republic of Sri Lanka, to reward individual acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of the most exceptional order in the face of the enemy, performed voluntarily whilst on active service and with no regard to the risk to his own life and security with the objective of safeguarding thereby the lives of his comrades of facilitating the operational aim of his Force, and who are recommended by the Commander of the Army, the Commander of the Navy or the Commander of the Air Force to receive the award under the terms and conditions in the regulations listed in the Gazette.

The act of gallantry, for which the Decoration is to be conferred, should be witnessed by no less than three persons, and a Board of not less than five senior officers nominated by the Service Commanders will examine the recommendations.

This Decoration is worn on the left breast, and takes precedence over all Orders, Decorations and Medals. It can be awarded posthumously to the lawful next-of-kin of the recipient or to a person nominated by the next-of-kin.

The names of the Persons upon whom the Decoration is conferred shall be published in the Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and a Register of all such recipients shall be maintained under the directions of H.E. The President, and the Personal Number, Rank and Name of the recipient, together with the date of award to be recorded in it.

The decoration shall be conferred by H.E. the President by citation under his/her hand and seal and the award shall be made personally by H.E. the President at a special Investiture.

Every recipient of the Decoration shall be entitled to use the post-nominal letters 'PWV'.

If a recipient of this Decorations suffers death by sentence of a court-martial or other Military, Naval or Air Force Court, or is cashiered, dismissed, removed, or discharged with disgrace or ignominy from the Armed Forces, or is convicted of treason, sedition, mutiny, cowardice, desertion, or disgraceful conduct of an unnatural kind or is dismissed or discharged for misconduct, or who while subject to Military, Naval or Air Force law, is convicted by the civil power, he shall forfeit the Decoration, unless H.E. The President shall direct otherwise.




An example of this award

S/34553 Cpl. Y.G.Gamini Kularatne PWV, 6 SLSE

He was one of the soldiers defending the Elephant Pass Army camp on 14.7.1991. The LTTE were using caterpillar wheeled Armoured trucks with devastating effect, and the camp had been under siege for 40 days. Food and water had run out. One night the forward defence barrier and the bunkers had been overrun, with soldiers crushed in their bunkers beneath the mass of
destructive steel. Kularatne, seeing the enemy approach the second barrier, acted without hesitation, and inched his way through the darkness towards the LTTE Armoured truck, climbed its ladder and tossed a grenade into the opening of the gun turret. The truck was blown to pieces along with the gallant Corporal. In the light of the blaze behind the armoured truck were hundreds of LTTE personnel, who were forced to take to their heels. By sacrificing his life, Cpl. Kularatne had saved the Elephant Pass camp, whose defenders held on until relieved by Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa. For the above mentioned act of gallantry, Cpl. Gamini Kularatne was posthumously awarded the Parama Weera Vibushanaya (PWV) in SL Army Order 04/91 Annex 'A'

Other recipients of this Decoration (all posthumous awards)

Number Rank Name Unit Force Source
O/3113 Lt. S Aladeniya SLSR(V) SL Army SAO 02/94
O/61672 2/Lt. K W T Nissanka 3GR SL Army SAO 01/96

Both were posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain.

The following awards were made during the Investiture held on 10.10.1998,
for acts of gallantry performed in 1995/96 or prior.

S/15296 Pte W I M Seneviratne 7 SLLI SL Army
S/77304 WOII H P B Gunasekera 10 GR SL Army
NRX0517 Lt. L L D S Wijetunge SL Navy

1996 -2002, Charles Ameresekere. Content may not be copied by any form without the prior consent of the Author.