Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President and Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka visited Trincomalee 1st March to review the naval fleet stationed there. Accompanied by Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, the President inspected the naval fleet, which included a variety of ships. Governor Eastern Province Hon. Senthil Thondaman, State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Chief of Staff to the President and Senior Adviser to the President on National Security Sagala Ratnayaka, Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne (Ret’d) and Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva and a group of distinguished invitees were also present on this occasion.

Warships are more than just vessels; they are iconic symbols of a nation’s strength, sovereignty, and maritime heritage. A fleet review is a formal inspection of the fleet of a navy by the monarch. There were two original reasons for holding a fleet review. The first is to mobilise the fleet for war and the second is to demonstrate to potential enemies and friendly powers the naval strength of the nation. The third cause for holding a fleet review is to hold a celebration of a significant occasion.

Naval fleet reviews have a long and storied history, with roots dating back to the medieval era in Europe. Originally conducted by the Royal Navy as part of the mobilization for war, these reviews evolved over time to also commemorate royal anniversaries and other significant occasions.

When the event unfolded in precision with naval traditions, Trincomalee inner harbor shimmered with pride as SLNS Sayurala, Parakramabahu, Gajabahu, Nandimithra, Sayura, Samudura, Shakthi, and Prathapa stood tall, awaiting the President’s review.

Following the fleet review, the President posed for a group photograph at the Navy House in the Naval Dockyard Trincomalee, with the Commanding Officers of the attending ships. Moreover, he planted a coconut sapling on the premises as a symbolic gesture of his visit.