24th December 2016 13:33:37 Hours
Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) on Saturday (24) revered the memory of its brave and determined fallen War Heroes during a solemn and colourful ceremony at the SLSR Regimental Headquarters, Ambepussa.
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka at the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva took time off and joined hundreds of next of kin of fallen War Heroes who had gathered there to pay respect to the memories of their beloved ones during this annual commemorative ceremony.
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the Chief Guest for the remembrance event was honoured according a Guard of Honour salute, presented by SLSR soldiers, a few minutes after the Colonel of the SLSR Regiment, Major General Boniface Perera welcomed the day’s Chief Guest.
After the flag hoisting ceremony, he joined the rest of the day’s proceedings.
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was afterwards invited to address the gathering of spouses, children of fallen and missing War Heroes, next of kin, disable War Heroes, serving officers and other ranks and invitees to the day’s arrangements, in which he recalled the invaluable sacrifices of the SLSR, the Regiment for which he too belonged before his retirement.
The main ceremony got off with the symbolic lighting of the eternal lamp at the foot of the SLSR War Hero monument in the compound. Afterwards, the visiting Chief Guest laid a floral wreath and paid his respect to the memory of fallen SLSR War Heroes.
Others including the Colonel of the Regiment, Major General Boniface Perera, invitees and close relatives followed suit and recalled the memories of those fallen War Heroes after making floral offerings.
Around the same time, next of kin of fallen War Heroes lined up together to unfold SLSR flags horizontally in honour of their beloved sons amid the sounding of the Last Post. The spectacle brought tears to all the eyes of those who were present.
The next leg of the ceremony at the SLSR museum saw SLSR disable War Heroes receive special gift parcels from the Chief Guest as appreciative tokens. It was also a moving scene as those War Heroes respectfully accepted them from the day’s Chief Guest, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.
At the same time, a stock of seven wheelchairs, stock of seven crutches and one artificial limb were awarded to disable War Heroes.
In the afternoon, religious services representing Catholic, Hindu and Islamic faiths got underway at separate sacred places in Warakapola and Keenadeniya where SLSR families of those denominations, joined together to commemorate their beloved fallen ones.
Towards the latter part of the day, an all night Pirith chanting ceremony got underway at the SLSR Headquarters after Buddhist monks were invited to the premises in a colourful Perehara (procession). Offer of alms to the monks following day (25) culminates the ceremonies. Senior officers and invitees attended the occasion.