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Sri Lanka Table of Contents

Sri Lanka

Awards in the Armed Forces

In the period between independence and the establishment of the republic, members of the Sri Lankan armed services were eligible for awards from the British government, including the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) and the Member of the British Empire (M.B.E.). After 1972 however, the nation established its own system of decorations, which was modified in 1979 to conform more closely with the practices of other South Asian nations. Under the system in place in 1988, the nation's highest decoration was the Parama Veera Vibushanaya, equivalent to the Victoria Cross of Britain and the Param Vir Chakra of India, and awarded "for individual acts of gallantry of the most exceptional order." For acts of bravery performed outside a military context, individuals were awarded the Veerodhara Vibushanaya, a decoration equivalent to the British George Cross and the Indian Asoka Chakra. Other awards include the Visiatha Seva Vibushanaya for twenty years of service with an "unblemished record of moral and military conduct;" the Uttama Seva Padakkama, equivalent to India's Meritorious Service Medal, and given to a soldier with not fewer than fifteen years of service marked by exceptional ability and exemplary conduct; the Videsha Seva Padakkama, for active service in a foreign military mission; and the Veera Vickrama Vibushanaya, equivalent to the Military Cross of Britain, and given for acts of gallantry in saving the lives of others.

Data as of October 1988