Lance Corporal Pradeep Sanjaya, who carved a niche for himself in the annals of Sri Lanka’s Paralympic History, by bringing the first-ever Bronze Medal, called on the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Thursday (13) morning, in less than 20 hours of his arrival in his motherland.
His meeting with the Army Chief in the company of a host of senior officers was considered a twice-blessed event since he was exceptionally fortunate to have a double promotion as an Army Sergeant, in addition to the simultaneous, pledge of a cash gift of Rs 3 million from the Army which was to be handed over to him, a few hours later by HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces.
Lance Corporal Pradeep Sanjaya of 4 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (4 SLSR), accompanied by the Regimental Sergeant Major as per military procedures after receipt of the Commander’s warm greetings at the Commander’s office, received his double promotion as a Sergeant in the Army.
Major General R.M.D. Rathnayake, Chief of Staff and Chairman, Athletic Association of Sri Lanka, Major General Jagath Alwis, Director General General Staff, Major General Boniface Perera, Colonel of the Sinha Regiment, Brigadier R. Dharmasiri, Centre Commandant SLSR Headquarters, Brigadier Ravi Rathnasingham, Director Army Sports Board and a few more senior officers witnessed the medalist’s historic interaction with the Commander. It was also symbolic of the formal intimation of his achievement in the London Paralympics 2012 to the Army Chief.
During the interaction, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, extending his best wishes and greetings, inquired into his thoughts on his victory and what his future plans are. The Commander underlined the importance of using his gift money sparingly and continuation of his further training in athletics in order to promote his talents.
The Commander assured Sergeant Pradeep Sanjaya of the Army's continued support and assistance for his sports career, enabling him to secure more and more such achievements in the future, too.
Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya during the occasion did not forget to speak to the wife, Mrs Nishika Dulanjalee and the mother of the medalist who were there with the one-month old infant, baby U.P. Kaveesha of the medalist. Sharing greetings and best wishes with them, the Commander told the spouse that Pradeep Sanjaya’s achievement has made Sri Lanka and the Army proud.
As a token of appreciation of his achievement and the subsequent honour he brought to the organization and the country, the Army is to make a cash gift of Rs 3 million. The gift jointly makes up of Rs 1 m from the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment, Rs 1 m from the Army Para Games Committee and Rs 1 m from the Army Sports Board and is to be presented to the medalist by President Mahinda Rajapaksa when the former calls on at the Temple Trees in a few hours.