Director Welfare
Director WelfareAir Vice Marshal PDA Mariestella
MBBS (SL), psc

Air Vice Marshal PDA Mariestella studied at Devi Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Colombo. She entered Medical Faculty, University of Colombo and passed out in 1985 and got registered under Sri Lanka Medical Council as a Medical Practitioner. After 05 years of service under Ministry of Health, she was commissioned in the Sri Lanka Air Force on 26 February 1990 as a Direct Entry Flight Lieutenant in the Medical Branch.

During her career in SLAF, she held the appointments of Medical Officer In Charge, Base Medical Officer and Commanding Officer of SLAF Medical Centers and Hospitals. During this period she was actively involved with care and rehabilitation of war casualties of the SLAF. She was posted to Air Force Headquarters in 2011 to serve as the Senior Staff Officer, Acting Director Welfare and Director Welfare. During her career she was engaged with secondary duties as well and contributed towards uplifting of Families Welfare, SLAF Pre-schools and day care centers.   

AVM PDA Maristella followed the Diploma of Aviation Medicine at Aero Medical Institute, Masroor Pakistan in 1993. She has also followed the 2nd Junior Command & Staff Course at Junior Command and Staff College at SLAF Academy China Bay. She successfully completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Family Medicine awarded by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine in 2001 and Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations awarded by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies in 2008. She is also a graduate of Defence Service Command & Staff College Sapugaskanda. She is also the first Lady Officer from Tri Forces to be decorated with ‘psc’. 

During her distinguished military career of nearly 30 years, she has been awarded with Long Service Medal, SLAF 50th Anniversary Medal, North & East Operations Medal, East Humanitarian Operation Medal, 50th Independence Commemoration Medal and Riviresa Campaign Service Medal.

She is married to Air Commodore DMS Karunarathne (Retired) and is blessed with a son and a daughter, Emil Manupa and Michelle Sumalini.
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