11th April 2018 17:34:13 Hours
Remote Hennanigala in the East wore Sinhala and Tamil new year festive garbs on Wednesday (11) in close coordination with the Army, 'Wana Arana Foundation' and members of the indigenous community (Aadivasi).
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army, taking time off attended the 'Bakmaha Ulela', very much organized on the guidance given by the chief of indigenous community (Vedda Chief) Uuruwarige Wannila Ettho who also attended the event as a distinguished guest. Major General Santhusitha Pananwala, Commander, Security Forces - East received the Commander of the Army and other invitees on arrival at the venue beside the Henanigala tank bund.
A multitude of very rare indigenous and traditional New Year games, very much unknown to the most of Sri Lankans, fun-making features dominated the full-day festival during which the 'Wana Arana Foundation' inviting both the Commander of the Army and the Vedda Chief launched their new 'Wana Arana Foundation' website. 'Wana Arana Foundation' is dedicated to preserve age-old indigenous traditions, rites and rituals, customs, habits, habitat practices, ancestral links and all related information to their heritage for the sake of future generations.
Adding surprises and novelty, the Chief Guest, Commander of the Army joined indigenous people assuring them of all support on the same occasion and gave away some gift parcels to the Chief of the indigenous community and their fellow residents.
In another appreciative gesture, the Commander gave a special gift to Thalawarige Punchi Banda of the Vedda community who secured the 53rd place in the recent Ironman 70.3 Colombo Competition, the first-ever triathlon in South Asia, held on February 25, 2018 at Galle Face with over 3000 athletes, including 870 overseas participants from 63 countries.
The Commander openly appreciated the athletic skills of Punchi Banda and gave the undertaking that he would be recruited to the Army Volunteer Force and afforded best athletic training to reach higher levels.
The full-day festive atmosphere on the tank bund attracted a large gathering of Aadivasi community who came dressed in their traditional attire with their metal equipment, bows and arches.
The event was covered by Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.