Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Glittering 'Army Colours Night - 2011' Recognizes Exceptional Talents &;amp; Awards Laurels

The most glittering and much-awaited award ceremony in the Army calendar, the ‘Army Colours Night - 2011’ with its theme ‘Reconciliation Through Spotrs’ presented colours and laurels to those who outshone in the field of Army sports on Thursday (5) evening at Sugathadasa Stadium to a packed audience of distinguished invitees, retired senior officers, Army officers, relatives of laureates, hundreds of sportsmen/women and other invitees.

Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke at the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, inspired the magnificent spectacle by his presence as the Chief Guest.

Lighting of the traditional oil lamp, observance of one-minute silence to honour the memory of fallen War Heroes and the Army Song preceded the welcome speech, made by Major General R.M.D Rathnayake, Chief of Staff and President, Army Sports. Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya in his brief address to the occasion, highlighted the importance of the event and  thanked the organizers for their hard work that made it to be a roaring success.     

The ‘Army Colours Night,’ an annual ceremony in the Army calendar recognizes outstanding sport achievements of skilled sportsmen and women of all Regiments who do exceptionally well at Army, Regiment, Defence Services, National and International levels, bringing credit to both the organization and the country at large.

Thursday’s (5) glamorous event awarded colours and laurels to 136 Army sportsmen and women.

Warrant Officer I W.M.C.I Wijekoon of Sri Lanka Artillery (SLA) was adjudged the Best Army Sportsman in the year considering his achievements both here and abroad. In the Asian Athletic Championship - 2011 (Japan) he secured the 3rd place in the 1500m category and created a new Sri Lanka record participating in the 13th IAAF World Athletic Championship – 2011(Korea). During the 89th National Athletic Championship 2011, he emerged the winner (1st Place) in the 1500m category and brought credit to the Army. He also represented World Military Games - 2011 (Brazil).

Best Sports Woman of the year was Private K.P.G Rathnayake of the Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps (SLAWC) who showed her skills in the field of Shooting. She secured the 1st place in Air Rifle Women’s team ‘A’ ISSF - 2011, Air Rifle Women’s Individual ISSF - 2011 (1st place), 3 x 20 50m Three Position Women’s Team ISSF - 2011 (1st place) and 3 x 20 50m Three Position Women’s Individual ISSF - 2011 (1st place). She represented 4th Asian Air Gun Championship (Kuwait), Best Rifle Shot Women - 2011 and Best Performers’ Women - 2011.

Best Disable Sportsman, Sergeant R.M.U.U Rajakaruna of Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) received a thundering ovation as he stepped on to the stage to receive his laurels. As a Wheelchair Tennis player, he secured the 1st place (double) in the Wheelchair Tennis World Championship - 2011 (India) and the second place in the Wheelchair Tennis World Championship - 2011 (India). To his credit, he was chosen to be a semi-finalist in Malaysian and Bangkok Wheelchair Tournaments - 2011 (Men’s Singles). He also became the winner in Men’s Singles and Doubles in Indonesian Open Wheelchair Tournament - 2011, Runners-up in Indian Open Wheelchair Tournament - 2011 (Men’s Singles and Doubles) and a participant in a few other national and international tournaments.

Meticulously designed and colourfully choreographed ‘Army Colours Night – 2011’ was held for the second time after culmination of the brutal war against terrorism in the year 2009. However, the Army Colours Nights as a customary feature had earlier been staged intermittently during 1983-2009.
Captain H.K.I Perera of Gemunu Watch (archery), Second Lieutenant Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka Artillery (cricket), Warrant Officer I W.M.C.I Wijekoon of Sri Lanka Artillery (athletics), Warrant Officer II  P.S Amarasekara of Sri Lanka Artillery (athletics), Sergeant S. Prasanna of Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps (cricket), Lance Corporal M.B Amarasinghe of Commando Regiment (Para volleyball), Sergeant R.M.U.U. Rajakaruna of Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and Lance Corporal D.M. Gamini of Gemunu Watch (wheelchair tennis), Corporal R.D.C Gunasekara of Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps (Judo), Lance Corporal B.W.I.N.K Bandara of Sri Lanka Army General Services Corps (Kabaddi), Lance Corporal A.H.S.A Hewage of Gemunu Watch (Body Building), Lance Corporal C.S.S.P Wijesuriya of Sri Lanka Army General Services Corps (Weightlifting), Private J. K. K. P Jayaweera of Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps (Netball), Staff Sergeant S. M. M. Samarakoon of Sri Lanka Army Service Corps and Private K.P.G. Ratnayake of Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps (Shooting) and Warrant Officer II M.N.M. Ishadeen of Military Intelligence Corps (Soccer) were among the Best 16 Army Performers who brought credit to the country, having participated in various national and international events who were lauded during this ceremony at Sugathadasa Stadium.

120 more Army Sportsmen/women excelled in Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, Para Archery, Para Power Lifting, Para Athletics, Wheelchair Marathon, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kabadi, Karate, Motor Sports, Weight Lifting, Power Lifting, Rugby, Rowing, Shooting, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Wushu and Volleyball also received Army Colours during the ceremony.

The day’s event, coloured by enthralling entertaining features of the highest standards with the participation of Army cultural troupes and other artistes, provided amusement to the chain of items in the agenda.

Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya, President, Seva Vanitha Army Branch, Principal Staff Officers senior officers, spouses of Army Officers and a large gathering witnessed the day’s proceedings.