22nd October 2017 07:08:54 Hours
Gallantry and unmatched bravery of the Army’s Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) Regiment that records the highest number of supreme sacrifices in the 30-year long battle against terrorism, was once again recalled to memory this morning (21) during the 28th anniversary commemoration of the SLLI Regimental Day at its Regimental Headquarters in Panagoda.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army at the invitation of Major General Amal Karunasekara, Colonel of the Regiment, SLLI graced the SLLI Regimental Day ceremony as the day’s Chief Guest.
This most respected infantry arm of the Sri Lanka Army, saw its birth some 136 years ago in late 1880s as the Ceylon Light Infantry during the times of colonial masters but it took root as a full-fledged Regiment in 1989.
The day’s anniversary ceremony started off in front of the state-of-the-art symbolic war memorial of 80 ft in height, considered to be the biggest one in the South Asian region, erected in 2015.
Lieutenant General Senanayake in the solemn ceremony, together with the SLLI Colonel of the Regiment laid the first floral wreath at the foot of it, and respected their memory before he joined Major General Amal Karunasekara to have a closer look at the special museum, which contains three parallel skyward planks symbolizing the celestial interaction between those deceased War Heroes, believed to have joined the heavens, erected on a flat bronze footing. The replica of a brave soldier who is all the time standing in the front symbolizes that he is prepared to emit his energy for the greater benefit of the nation.
Soon after the Commander of the Army laid the wreath, former Commander of the Army, General Shantha Kottegoda (Rtd), retired SLLI Senior Officers and a representative group of next of kin of SLLI War Heroes respected the monument.
A little later, the visiting Army Commander mingled with the gathering and did not forget to share a couple of views with those families of fallen SLLI War Heroes who had come to the SLLI Headquarters to express their grief in flowers.
The mammoth ceremony, organized by all in the SLLI Regiment, giving each and every segment a close and meticulous evaluation, proved a huge success under the close supervision and guidance of Major General Amal Karunasekara, Colonel of the Regiment, SLLI and the Chief of Staff of the Army.