The Sir John Kotelawela Defence Academy (KDA) established in 1980, with the specific purpose of grooming academically and professionally qualified officers for the three Armed services would be renamed Sir John Kotelawela Defence University (KDU) today by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The Academy elevated to University status in 1988, is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka and has the reputation of being one of the best in South Asia, being a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
The KDA which fulfils the education demands of Security Forces and related services, was originally established according to a proposal made by the three Service Commanders in 1978, and subsequently established in 1980 on a land donated by Sri Lanka’s third Prime Minister Sir John Kotelawela.
Chancellor Major General Dennis Perera who pioneered the cause of establishing the KDA in the 1970s as the Army Commander called it a revolution of military affairs at that time.
The Chancellor who paid tribute to the late Sir John Kotelawela said in keeping with the modern trend, the Forces’ Commanders had made this recommendation at that time for the establishment of the Academy to train officers of all three Forces under one roof.
The Chancellor also emphasised the importance of giving due recognition to the profession of Arms as it is not that well-known in the country. The KDA would continue to serve the nation in keeping with its vision, mission and objectives for many years to come.
The establishment which grew over the years has produced 1,510 graduates up to now and by the end of 2007, the figure would go up to 1,700.
The KDA caters to both male and female under graduates as well as providing educational facilities to students from several South Asian countries.
The KDA which conducts all courses in English, has Bachelor Degrees in Defence Studies for Arts, Commerce, Management and Technical Sciences, Aeronautical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical engineering, Marine Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. It also conducts studies in Post Graduate studies.
The Institution also facilitates many other Diploma courses with several new programmes in the pipeline.
By Rasika Somarathna