Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Shavendra Silva was invited as the Chief Guest of the Passing out Parade at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), in Dehradun. 

The CDS arrived at the IMA on on 9 December 2023, and was warmly received by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Indian Army’s Western Command, Lieutenant General Manoj Kumar Katiyar AVSM along with the Commandant of IMA Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra AVSM.

General Silva was then ceremonially escorted by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Indian Army’s Western Command and Commandant, IMA to the esteemed saluting dais where he took the salute from the passing out officer cadets. 

Following the salute, the CDS meticulously reviewed the Passing out Parade in a unique ceremonial vehicle keeping to the preserved IMA traditions,that underscored the attention to detail characteristic of military precision.

Having reviewed the passing out parade, General Shavendra Silva presented the awards to Officer Cadets who performed well including the Sword of Honour for the Best Overall Officer Cadet. Thereafter, the Chief Guest was invited to address the newly passed out officer cadets and the large gathering including the media.

In his address to the newly commissioned officer cadets, General Silva extended heartfelt congratulations on the commencement of their journey into a new chapter of their lives. He commended the passing out officers for their exemplary display of military drills and imparted invaluable insights into the essence of true leadership. As the senior-most serving General from a neighboring country, the CDS emphasized the principles of hard work, care for one’s team, the importance of sharing success, and facing failure on behalf of the troops under command.

Underscoring the significant role they now play as representatives of the Indian Army, General Shavendra Silva inspired the officer cadets, stating, “Today, you march out as proud officers, fully aware of your identity, responsibilities, and duty to serve India and its interests. Despite the challenges that may lie ahead, your future as officers is promising with the right spirit, diligence, and integrity.”

As the senior most serving military officer from Sri Lanka gracing such a military ceremony in India, General Shavendra Silva took a moment to acknowledge and extend special compliments to the Officer Cadets from friendly foreign nations who successfully completed their training at this prestigious Military Academy in India. Recognizing the leadership of the Academy’s Commandant and the dedication of its instructors and staff, he commended the institution for consistently upholding the highest training standards with world-class facilities, making it unparalleled among contemporary armies globally.

In conclusion, General Shavendra Silva emphasized that the greatness of military personnel is not measured by years of service or rank but by the sacrifices they are willing to make for the betterment of their nation and its people.

This pinnacle military event in the Indian Military Academy, attended by the parents of the Officer Cadets, marked a momentous occasion. Many Indian armed forces senior officers, government officials, diplomats, and a host of distinguished invitees also participated to witness the occasion.