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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Kilinochchi, Paranthan &;amp; Mannar New Year Festivals Attract Civilians in their Hundreds

The Army organized Sinhala and Hindu New Year festivals in Kilinochchi (571 Brigade), Ramanathapuram (572 Brigade) and Mannar (54 Division) areas in the past five days (April 15-19) became events of public attraction as hundreds of children, women and civilians joined hands together with Army soldiers serving those areas.

Kilinochchi, once the most prestigious terrorist stronghold, which has now entered the road to fast development, had its grand New Year festival at the Kilinochchi Public Grounds on April 17.

Organized by 571 Brigade Headquarters under the close supervision of Colonel Nanda Hathurusinghe, Commander, 571 Brigade in Kilinochchi, the festival included a variety of traditional games, sports events and amusing features such as bicycle races, cross country races, pillow fighting, grease pole climbing, tug of war, balancing games, cadjan-weaving, etc.

The same night, music band of the Sri Lanka Army General Services Corps rent the air with Tamil and Sinhala melodies as crowds in their hundreds joined dancing and merry-making. A professional dancing team of the Army entertained the public late into the night.

At the invitation of Colonel Nanda Hathurusinghe, Commander, 571 Brigade Headquarters, Brigadier K.R.P Rowel, General Officer Commanding, 57 Division attended the festival at Kilinochchi.

Meanwhile, 572 Brigade Headquarters in coordination with 12 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (12 SLSR) and 6 Sri Lanka National Guard (6 SLNG) organized another Sinhala and Hindu New Year festival at Kilinochchi Ramanathapuram Maha Vidyalaya premises on April 14, the day after the dawn of New Year.

The festival included a number of special features such as the best laugh, fancy dress competition, musical chairs, cross country races, slow movement cycling, tug of war, pillow-fighting, etc. A large number of Tamil civilians and youngsters showing enormous interest in the programme, took part in the day’s event. The Army western band entertained the crowd with rhythmic beats as dusk fell.

Brigadier K.R.P Rowel, General Officer Commanding, 57 Division at the invitation of Colonel P.G.M.V.J Pananwala, Commander, 572 Brigade attended the ceremony as the Chief Guest. Distribution of prizes to the winners in competitions and events took place towards the end of the day’s programme.

In the meantime, 25 Gemunu Watch (25 GW) soldiers in the 543 Brigade Headquarters under 54 Division in Mannar held a New Year festival at Pesalai Army  camp area in coordination with civilians. Hundreds of Tamil civilians, children and women, joining together with soldiers, had a full day of fun and amusement during the arrangement.

The festival organized under the supervision of Brigadier M.A.M Dias, General Officer Commanding, 54 Division, Mannar was attended by Commander, 543 Brigade as the Chief Guest.