President Maithripala Sirisena posing for a group photograph with the recipients of honorary awards.  Pictures by Sudath Silva
President Maithripala Sirisena posing for a group photograph with the recipients of honorary awards. Pictures by Sudath Silva

The investiture Ceremony of conferring national honours on distinguished personalities of the nation-the National Honours-2017 was held yesterday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre.

Eighty eight personalities who rendered a noble service to the country and its progress were bestowed with awards by the President at the ceremony.

The highest honour Sri Lankabhimanya was bestowed on late music maestro Pandit W.D.Amaradeva and the award was accepted by his wife Wimala Amaradeva. The award was conferred on Pandith Amaradeva in recognition of his most distinguished service to the nation.

Ten personalities including Prof. Colvin Gunaratne and popula singer Latha Walpola were bestowed with the Deshamanya award which is conferred in recognition of distinguished and meritorious service to the nation.

Deshabandu titular was conferred to nine personalities including Devanayagam Eeshawaran, Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe and renowned Chef Dr. Pabilis Silva.

Eleven personalities including Prof.Nimal Senanayake, Prof. Errol Radcliffe Jansz, Prof.Thissa Vitharana were awarded with the Vidyajothi award.

The Kala Keerthi honour was conferred on 22 persons including Edmund Ranasinghe, Dasa Hapuwalanage, Camillus Perera and Prof. Sunanda Mahendra. The Sri Lanka Sikhamini honour was conferred on seven personalities.

The Vidya Nidi honour was awarded to 10 personalities including Ahmed Mumtaz Masoon Cassim and Professor Siwalingam Sivananthan. The Kala Shuri title was awarded to 13 personalities including Prof.Praneeth Abeysundsra, Cathleen Jayawardana, Berty Gunathilake and Sumithra Rahubadda.

The Sri Lanka Thika honour was awarded to two personalities while the Weera Prathpa title was awarded to two personalities. The Sri Lanka Ranjana titular conferred to non nationals were conferred on two personalities, scientist Dr. Sarath Gunapala of the US and Siddhartha Kaul of India. This award is conferred in honour of distinguished service of a highly meritorious nature to Sri Lanka or to humanity in general.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister
Nimal Siripala De Silva and Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka at the ceremony.

President of Sri Lanka China Friendship Society and Sri Lanka – Belgium Friendship Society
Thalagalage  Amaradasa Gunawardana receiving the Deshamanya Award.

Chairman Akbar Brothers  Abbasally Akbarally receiving the Deshamanya Award.

Veteran artiste Berty Sangathissa Gunathilake receiving the Kala Shuri Award.

President Emiritus of CBL Group of companies Mineka Presantha Wickramasingha receiving the
Deshamanya Award.

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