About

WOMEN IN THE SRI LANKA ARMY

The Corps was set up with the assistance of the Women's Royal Army Corps, it was identical in structure to its parent organization, and its first generation of officer cadets was trained in Britain. Candidates were required to be between eighteen and twenty years old and to have passed the General Common Entrance (Ordinary level) examinations, while the Officer candidates must have passed the Advanced Level. Enlistment entailed a five-year service commitment (the same as for men), and recruits were not allowed to marry during this period. In the sixteen-week training course at the Army Training Center at the Diyatalawa Sri Lanka Military Academy, cadets were put through a program of drill and physical training similar to the men's program, with the exception of weapons and battle craft training. Female recruits were paid according to the same scale as the men, but were limited to service in nursing, communications, and clerical work. In late 1987, the first class of women graduates from the Viyanini Army Training Center were certified to serve as army instructors. But, from late 1987 - after hostilities began, the first batch of women graduates from the British Army's Women's Corp Center certified to serve as Army Instructors.

Up to now, women officers have proved their ability and serve in varied specialized fields in the Service as control tower operators, electronic warfare technicians, radio material teletypists, automotive mechanics, aviation supply personnel, cryptographers, doctors, combat medic, lawyers, engineers and even aerial photographers.

 

To meet the operational requirements in the field areas, the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Women's Corps was also raised. A few officers from the regular counter part were attached to this unit to organize the command structure. They are currently employed in active combat duties in the northern and eastern parts of the island.

Many officers commencing with Lieutenant Colonel A.W. Thambiraja were appointed to command this unit from time to time. The first women's corps officer to command the unit was Lieutenant Colonel Kumudini Weerasekara in 1992

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