Sri Lanka: State Intelligence Service turns 80

The State Intelligence Service (SIS) celebrated its 80th Anniversary in a simple ceremony on Oct 01, 2021 under the auspices of Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) gracing as the Chief Guest and the ceremony was held in keeping with COVID-19 health guidelines.

The Anniversary celebrations commenced with a wreath laying ceremony at the War Memorial at the SIS Head Office on the previous day to commemorate its fallen War Heroes followed by a religious ceremony held to usher blessings on the country, War Heroes, the agency and all members of its staff.

The SIS traces its roots to the early 1940s when on October 01, 1941 it was formed as a special branch of the Criminal Investigations Department. After going through many nominal and structural changes over the years, it finally came to be known in its present name in 2006 and continues its pivotal service in ensuring national security.

Under the guidance of His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and with the direction of the Defence Secretary Gen Kamal Gunaratne (Retd.), the SIS has entered into a new dimension of operations in keeping with the President’s visionary programme to ensure national security and nation building.

In keeping with the President’s vision and evolving times along with requirements of the country, the SIS has entered on a new journey harnessing the inherent professionalism and skill of its men, adopting innovation, enhancing the welfare of its men and in a conducive working environment.

Signifying the importance of reaching the milestone of 80 years, the ‘Oak Anniversary’ celebrations also saw the launching of the book “Silent Guardians” compiled on the prestigious history and services of the SIS.

The first copy was presented to the Defence Secretary Gen. Gunaratne during the event. In addition, a newly composed theme song of the State Intelligence Service was also launched during the proceedings. The occasion also further considered commemoration of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the betterment of the country, paying tribute to the members of those families, appreciation of service of officers who extended continuous service for over 35 years and retired as well as those in service over 35 years and further encouragement of the children of the officers for their higher educational achievements.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Defence Secretary recalled the significant service of the SIS during the Humanitarian Operations to defeat the LTTE terrorists who had caused mayhem and bloodshed in the motherland for three decades. The exceptional service of the SIS in the national campaign to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years also came under the praise of the Defence Secretary.

He was also of the view that the SIS and other intelligence services which have primarily focused on anti-terrorist and extremist operations, while expanding their operational sphere are also expected to contribute their services to achieve desired outcomes in other fields such as health, food and environment sectors in keeping with the President’s visionary programme to ensure national security and nation building.

The ceremony held under the guidance of the Director General of the SIS was attended by Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security Maj. Gen. Jagath Alwis (Retd), IGP Chandana Wickramaratne, Chief of National Intelligence Maj. Gen. Ruwan Kulatunga (Retd) and tri forces intelligence heads.

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