President confers ‘National Honours’ on 70 distinguished personalities | Daily News


President confers ‘National Honours’ on 70 distinguished personalities

President Maithripala Sirisena conferred ‘National Honours’ on 70 distinguished personalities to honour the outstanding service rendered by them to the Motherland.

The ceremony organized by the Presidential Secretariat was held at the BMICH yesterday.

President Sirisena conferred six Deshamanya awards, one Sri Lanka Ratna award, 10 Desabandu awards, six Vidya Jyothi awards, nine Kala Keerthi awards, eight Sri Lanka Sikhamani awards, three Vidya Nidhi awards, 11 Kala Suri awards, 11 Sri Lanka Thilaka awards, two Veera Prathapa awards and three Sri Lanka Ranjana awards at thes ceremony .

‘The Sri Lanka Ratna’ is the highest honour the country confers to non-nationals. This year the award was presented to an international diplomat and the Representative of the Government of Japan for Peace-building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi.

‘The Sri Lanka Ranjana’ is the second-highest Honour conferred to non-nationals and this year the award was presented to three personalities. They are Dr. Cumaraswamy Sivathasan, Dr. Davis Alexande Young and Prof. Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran.

Among the other recipients were distinguished media personality Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa, Chairman of South Asian Regional Anti-Doping Agency (SARADO) Prof. Arjuna Priyadarsin De Silva, STF Commandant, Senior DIG M.R. Latiff, former gold medal-winning sprinter Sugath Thialakarathne, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomarawamy, the first Sri Lankan and the first Sri Lankan woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest Jayanthi Kuru Utumpala, internationally awarded Public Health Midwife Lalitha Padmini, late Development Officer Eranga Wikumsiri who saved a large number of lives sacrificing his life during the Aranayake tragedy in 2016 and late SLTB driver Keerthi Bandara Padmasiri, who saved the lives of 22 passengers sacrificing his life by averting an accident in Haputale in 2017. Prof. Arjuna Priyadarsin De Silva is a consultant physician, an academic and a sports medicine expert. He is renowned for his long-standing work on anti-doping activities and his lead role in introducing legislation to criminalize trafficking in banned substances in Sri Lanka. He is currently the Chairman of Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA) and also the SARADO. 

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