The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) proudly inaugurated its Hall of Fame, a
distinguished platform aimed at honouring exceptional KDU alumni who have made significant
contributions to both military and civilian public service. This esteemed initiative draws inspiration
from the remarkable achievements of inductees, spanning times of both conflict and peace, motivating
current and future generations of KDU affiliates to build upon the legacy established by these eminent
On the 25 August, 2023, a momentous occasion unfolded as KDU welcomed Air Marshal Udeni
Rajapaksa, an esteemed alumnus, into the Hall of Fame. Notably, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa, a
member of Intake VI, holds the distinction of being the inaugural KDU graduate to receive this
prestigious recognition as the 19th Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force. The ceremony, marked by
solemnity, saw the unveiling of his portfolio within the university’s Hall of Fame.
A floral tribute commenced the event, as Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa paid his respects at the War
Heroes’ Monument that is a testament to the courageous KDU alumni from the Tri-Forces who made
the ultimate sacrifice for the nation. Following this commemorative gesture, the Commander revisited
his military alma mater, Kotelawala Defence University, engaging in a productive meeting with the
Vice Chancellor, Major General Milinda Peiris,. This interaction culminated in the exchange of
commemorative plaques, signifying the significance of the occasion.
During his visit, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa delivered an inspiring address to the esteemed military
and civil undergraduates of KDU, sharing insights into the challenges he encountered on his journey
and personal traits to be inculcated for a sound personality. His motivational speech deeply resonated
with the attending military undergraduates. The Commander also undertook an inspection of the
Aeronautical Department, exploring avenues for its further development.
The visit culminated with Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa leaving his mark in the Visitors’ Book, thus
immortalizing his presence at the revered Kotelawala Defence University. This remarkable event
garnered the presence of senior military and academic staff, providing an exceptionally inspirational experience for all military undergraduates who were in attendance.