‘Gajaba Regiment’, one of the Army’s most reputed and highly respected infantry wings that has to-date produced scores of valiant defenders of the nation, had its annual ‘Colours Night’ Thursday (28) evening at Musaeus College auditorium before a galaxy of distinguished invitees, including Secretary Defence and Urban Development.
The much-awaited event in the Gajaba Regiments calendar of annual milestones saw a total of 119 officers and other ranks honoured with medals and colours in appreciation of their outstanding performances in the field of sports and for bringing glory and reputation to the Gajaba Regiment.
The colourful occasion assumed more significance when one of the brothers of the fallen War Hero, Colonel Y.N Palipana in concurrence with the consent of late War Heroes beloved wife, gifted the Gajaba Regiment (GR) with a 20-acre land at Kurunegala, attaching eternity to the memory of late Colonel Y.N Palipana who perished in an explosion in Araly, Jaffna, together with Lieutenant General Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Gajaba war veteran Major General Wijaya Wimalaratne and a few others in the year 1992.
Thursday’s ‘Colours Night’ commenced soon after Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development together with the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, senior Army officers and retired GR officers arrived at the venue as the clock struck 6.30 p.m.
Major General A.K.S Perera, Colonel of the Gajaba Regiment and Commander, Security Forces Headquarters, Wanni received the Chief Guest, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa who himself was also a former GR officer and conducted him to inaugurate the day’s proceedings after lighting the traditional oil lamp and observance of 2 minute-silence in memory of fallen War Heroes.
Soon after the welcome speech was delivered by Major General A.K.S Perera, a brief documentary that amply speaks of heroic contributions of GR War Heroes and the Regiment’s life span was screened, subsequent to the recital of the symbolic GR Song.
Award of Colours to GR achievers began with the participation of the Chief of Staff Major General R.M.D Ratnayake, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya and Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa respectively as cheers and applause reverberated in the auditorium after the GR Colonel of the Regiment accompanied them to the stage.
A special plaque on the same occasion was awarded to Captain Ranjith Indrasena as a life-time honour in recognition of his achievements in Boxing on behalf of the GR and his winning of the first gold medal in Boxing to both the GR and the Army.
Coloured by various cultural and entertaining features of the highest standards, the organizers of the GR Colours Night - 2011 released a special souvenir on the same occasion. The vote of thanks proposed by Colonel N.R Lamahewage, Centre Commandant GR Headquarters brought the event to the culmination.