India congratulates SL for commissioning women pilots


COLOMBO -India on Wednesday (18) congratulated Sri Lanka Air Force for commissioning two women pilots for the first time in its history.

The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said the  commissioning of Flying Officers A. D. P. L. Gunarathne and R. T. Weerawardana as the first ever women pilots in Sri Lanka Air Force on Monday (16), was a matter of great pride and happiness not only for Sri Lanka,  but for India as well.  It said both officers had been trained in the 204th Pilot Course of the Indian Air Force Academy at Hyderabad from July 2018 to June 2019.

The statement noted that training has been one of the strongest pillars of bilateral defence cooperation between India and Sri Lanka, with more than half of the military training slots in India for foreign countries being provided to Sri Lanka.  It said, annually, over 1200 personnel from the Sri Lankan armed forces undergo training in India and of these, nearly 250 are from the Sri Lanka Air Force.

The joint training inculcates camaraderie and prepares the bedrock for cooperation between India and Sri Lanka to safeguard our common security interests and contribute to regional peace and security, the statement elaborated.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa too offered his congratulations to the two officers on their commissioning.

Meanwhile, PTI noted that President Rajapaksa’s niece Madini Chandradasa had in November 2009, created history as she co-piloted Sri Lanka’s first all female commercial flight crew.

She and Anusha Siriratne operated a Sri Lankan Airlines flight from Colombo to Trichy.



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