Defence Current Affairs 2017

Sri Lankan President awards Field Marshal title to former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka

Former Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka was conferred the highest military rank of Field Marshal by the Government.

He was awarded this title by President Maithripala Sirisena at a state ceremony held in the Colombo. With this Fonseka became the first Sri Lankan to receive this highest military title which is honorary in nature.

Background

  • Fonseka is credited for being the force behind ending the 26-year Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 by defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.
  • After retiring from Army, Fonseka had entered politics and had contested 2010 Presidential election against then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
  • Following the controversial defeat in this election he was court martialled and was jailed for alleged corruption and treason charges by then Rajapaksa led government.
  • But the new government led President Maithripala Sirisena after coming to power in January 2015 had dropped all the charges against Fonsek and had reinstated his court martialled army rank using the executive powers.

Sarath Fonseka’s military career

  • He had joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1970 as a cadet officer. Since then during his 40-year career he had served various posts in Army.
  • He was 18th Commander i.e. Chief of the Sri Lanka Army and was in office from 2005 to 2009.
  • Fonseka also has served as Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka. He was in office from July 2009 to November 2009.

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President Pranab Mukherjee gives away Chakra Awards to Defence Personnel

Pranab Mukherjee on 21 March 2015 conferred one Kirti Chakra awards and 11 Shaurya Chakra awards on armed forces personnel. Among these 11 awardees three were conferred posthumously for gallantry.

The awards were given to defence personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty at a Defence Investiture Ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

  • Kirti Chakra– Captain Jaidev of Parachute Regiment.
  • Shaurya Chakra (Posthumously) – Subedar Prakash Chand, Lieutenant Commander Manoranjan Kumar, Major Abhijai of Corps of Engineers.
  • Shaurya Chakra- Major Mukul Sharma, Commander Gosavi Kaustubh Vijaykumar, Major R Vamshi Krishnan, Rifleman Manga Ram, Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya, Major Abhishek Kumar, Major Satnam Singh, Naik Ansaigra Basumatary.

Kirti Chakra- It is the second highest peace time gallantry award i.e. awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle.

Shaurya Chakra- It is the third highest peacetime gallantry award i.e. awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy.

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