Flight Lieutenant Dilhan Perera
He received his education at D.S. Senanayake College and was a leading schoolboy cricketer. After he left school he played for the Nomads Sports Club. He got married in 1994 October 20.
Date: July 14, 1995
Time: 0730 hrs
Location: FDL Palali Air field unit
Palali Air Field unit received the message that the Pukara carrying Flight Lieutenant Dilhan Perera had gone down in LTTE territory. Squadron leader Commander Buwaneka Abeysooriya, Leading Aircraftsman M.T.K Dharmawardana and their team was called upon to launch a swift and major rescue operation.
According to radar displays the Pukara had gone down in the Alaweddi area. Air Force intelligence strongly believed that Flight Lieutenant Dilhan Perera was still alive.
But his life was at stake because he had gone down in enemy territory. Consequently a brisk rescue mission could mean a difference between life and death for Flight Lieutenant Dilhan Perera.
Squadron leader Buwaneka Abeysooriya and a team of eight, including Leading Aircraftsman M.T.K Dharmawardana took a helicopter to the location where the Pukara was said to have crashed.
Leading Aircraftsman M.T.K Dharmawardana joined the Air Force in 1989. He received a six year training at Diyatalawa and was stationed in Ampara in 1994. By 1995 he had five years experience in the front lines.
The helicopter reached the crash site from Mallagama direction. They landed at a safe distance from where the aircraft crashed, just five minutes after it was reported. They all hoped that Flight Lieutenant Dilhan Perera would be alive and did not want to risk the LTTE discovering him, before they did.
He was killed by the LTTE, in year 1995, July 14.
This token of recognition is dedicated to Flight Lieutenant Dilhan Perera who sacrificed his life to defend the nation.