Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

'Poojaniyai Oba' Pays Tribute to Parents of Fallen War Heroes

The Seva Vanitha Army Branch (SVAB) – initiated ‘Poojaniyai Oba - Mau Piya Upahara’ felicitation ceremony that paid tribute to a cross-section of the parents of fallen War Heroes of the Army, took place at Colombo Tower Hall Thursday (31) morning.

Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa, Chairperson, Ministry of Defence Seva Vanitha Unit as the Chief Guest and Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army at the invitation of Mrs Damayanthi Ratnayake, President, SVAB, together with a host of senior Army officers, Ministry of Defence officials and invitees, graced the event where parents of 135 fallen War Heroes were honoured and felicitated, appreciating their contribution to the defence of the country by consenting to send their beloved children to the battlefield.

The ceremony that coincided with the 29th anniversary of the SVAB and the just concluded Army 64th Anniversary commemoration, saw parents of 135 recipients of the highest gallantry medals, ‘Parama Weera Vibhushanaya’, ‘Weera Wickrema Vibhushanaya’ ‘Rana Wickrema Padakkama’ and ‘Rana Sura Padakkama’, were warmly felicitated, paying tribute to the memory of their beloved sons and daughters, belonging to all regiments of the Army under the first phase of the SVAB project.   

Observance of two-minute silence, Video documentary that salutes parents, award of parchments, containing certificates of tribute and gift parcels, interactive sessions with parents and presentations of performing artistes, were included in the day’s agenda.

Parents of well-known ‘Hasalaka Gamini’ alias Corporal Y.G Gamini Kularatne of Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel J.A.L Jayasinghe of Special Forces who made the supreme sacrifice under very special circumstances were among those who received laurels and were revered during the ceremony, addressed by the Commander of the Army.

Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake in his brief address to the gathering elaborated on the series of welfare measures that have been introduced for fostering of parents, spouses and children of War Heroes.

“We would never allow their memories and sacrifices fade away. They are immortal and their contribution can in no way be compensated. Your sons and daughters laid their lives for a cause, deeply respected by everyone in our society and it was you all who made those heroic sacrifices of our War Heroes possible as catalysts. We therefore owe you a special reverence and salute. The Army will continue to commemorate their gallantry for generations,” the Commander said.

Mrs Damayanthi Ratnayake received the Chief Guest Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa on arrival at the venue. Each parent attending the ceremony was welcomed with an offer of sheaves of betel before all of them were ushered for seating. Several leading vocalists added their voice to the occasion with melodies that extol the virtues of parents.

Major General Crishantha De Silva, Chief of Staff, Major General Prasad Samarasinghe, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Major General E.P De Z Abeysekara, Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Mahinda Ambanpola, Commandant, Engineer Service Regiment, Major General Jagath Dias, Adjutant General, Mrs Indu Ratnayake, Vice Chairperson, MoD Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Nayana De Silva, Vice Chairperson, SVAB, Mrs Sandamali Abeysekara, Secretary, Sri Lanka Signal Corps Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Roma Rajaguru, Public Relations Officer, SVAB, Mrs Shirani Ambanpola, Deputy Public Relations Officer, SVAB, Mrs Sepali Samarasinghe, Mrs Saroja Daulagala, Mrs Rukmani Mark, Mrs D.T.N Munasinghe, Mrs Champika Rambukpotha and all Seva Vanitha Unit representatives attended the ceremony.