National Awards presentations Under President’s Patronage
The Investiture Ceremony of conferring National Honors on distinguished personalities, who rendered a noble service to the country and its advancement, will be held on the 20th of March 2017 at the Nelum Pokuna Theater, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.
These awards are bestowed on the most distinguished persons who have made outstanding contributions to the country and its advancement.
At this ceremony which will be held after 12 years, the President will present national honours to 90 persons lauding their individual contributions in many spheres, stated the Secretary to the President P. B. Abeykoon.
The honours; Deshamanya (Titular),Sri Lankabhimanya (Titular), Deshabandu (Titular), Vidyajothi (Titular), Kala Keerthi (Titular), Sri Lanka Sikhamani (Titular), Vidya Nidhi (Titular), Kala Suri (Titular), Sri Lanka Thilaka (Non-titular), Veera Prathapa (Non- titular), will be bestowed at this ceremony.
National honours Sri Lanka Ranjana (Titular); the second highest honour awarded to non-nationals for distinguished service of a highly meritorious nature to Sri Lanka in particular and/ or humanity in general will also be presented at this ceremony.
According to the act of the National Honours – 1986, the awardees of these national honours are selected out of the nominations presented by individuals and public organizations. The nominations are also inspected by an intellectual panel. Ninety persons were selected out of 426 applications forwarded for this year’s award ceremony.
The Senior Additional Secretary to the President Rohana Keerthi Dissanayake said that various organizations are offering various awards related to the name of national honours they have no official recognition. He said only the awards presented by the President will be recognized as national awards.
Given below the list of Honors with brief details:
- List of Honors
These include the following in the order of their ranking, which are used as titles;
For service to the nation
The Sri Lankabhimanya is conferred to "those who have rendered exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to the nation". The honor can only be held by five Sri Lankans contemporaneously, and can be also be conferred posthumously
The Deshamanya (Pride of the Nation) is the second highest Sri Lankan national honor (after the Sri Lankabhimanya) awarded by the Government of Sri Lanka "for highly meritorious service"
The Deshabandu is the third highest Sri Lankan national honor. It is awarded "for meritorious service"
Sri Lanka Sikhamani
The Sri Lanka Sikhamani (Sri Lanka's precious gem) is a national honor "for service to the nation"
Sri Lanka Thilaka
The Sri Lanka Thilaka is a non-titular national honor "for service to the nation"
The Veera Chudamani is a National Honor awarded "for acts of bravery of the highest order". Veera Chudamani ranks lower than Deshabandu
The Veera Prathapa is a non-titular national honor awarded "for acts of bravery of the highest order". Veera Prathapa ranks lower than Sri Lanka Thilaka
For scientific achievement
The Vidya Jyothi is a national honor awarded"for outstanding scientific and technological achievements" It is the highest National Honor for Science in Sri Lanka for outstanding contribution to the development of the country through dedicated work in the chosen field. It is conventionally used as a title or prefix to the awardee's name. Vidya Jyothi ranks lower than Veera Chudamani
The Vidya Nidhi is a national honor awarded "for meritorious scientific and technological achievements". Vidya Nidhi ranks lower than Sri Lanka Sikhamani.
For achievements in arts, culture and drama
The Kala Keerthi is a national honor awarded "for extraordinary achievements and contributions in arts, culture and drama". It is the highest National Honor for arts, culture and drama in Sri Lanka. It is conventionally used as a title or prefix to the awardee's name. Kala Keerthi ranks lower than Vidya Jyothi.
The Kala Suri is a national honor awarded "for special contributions to the development of the arts". Kala Suri ranks lower than Vidya Nidhi.
Sri Lanka Mitra Vibhushana
The Sri Lanka Mitra Vibhushana is a Sri Lankan honor, for Heads of State and Heads of Government with which Sri Lanka has friendly relations “in appreciation of their friendship towards and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka”. The recipient of the honor is awarded a citation and a silver medal, which is to be worn around the neck, studded and adorned with nine kinds of Sri Lankan gems (Nawaratna) with the symbols of a lotus, the globe, sun, moon and sheaves of rice. The ribbon on medal 6.5 Centimeters wide. The honor takes precedence over the National Honors awarded to non Sri Lankans, and will be awarded by the President as and when he/she deems fit. The names of all the recipients are contained in a register maintained under the direction of the President for the recipient of National Honors granted to Sri Lankans. The honor was introduced in February 2008 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka Rathna
The Sri Lanka Rathna is a Sri Lankan honor, for foreigners or non-nationals, awarded "for exceptional and outstanding service to the nation". It comprises a citation and a gold medal studded with nine "navaratnas" (Sri Lankan gems) with a Manel symbol (the country's national flower).
Sri Lanka Ranajana
The Sri Lanka Ranajana is a Sri Lankan honor, for foreigners or non-nationals, awarded "for distinguished service of highly meritorious nature"
Sri Lanka Ramya
The Sri Lanka Ramya is a Sri Lankan honor, for foreigners or non-nationals, awarded "for distinguished service"
- Asian Tribune -