29th December 2017 18:19:11 Hours
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army at the invitation of Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Colonel Commandant of Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) on Wednesday (27) ceremonially opened the newly-erected SLE Sappers’ Mess at the 5 Field SLE Headquarters complex in Mattegoda.
During his formal visit to the Mattegoda SLE complex, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake was greeted to a Guard Turn Out salute by SLE troops after he was warmly welcomed by Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe in the company of Major General Dudley Weeraman, Chief Field Engineer.
The Commander before the day’s itinerary commenced offered a tray of flowers and paid homage to the Buddhist shrine in the camp premises, together with a few senior SLE Officers.
The Sappers’ new Mess at Mattegoda, the much-needed requirement for SLE troops became a reality within a period of 4-5 months with an added kitchen of modern standards and a large dining hall for the use of Other Ranks. At the auspicious minute, the Commander cut a ribbon and warmed the new building and had a close look inside the building.
In parallel with the main programme, newly-trained Explosive Detective Dogs (EDDs), together with their handlers afterwards coloured the occasion by staging several demonstrations and displays attracting a roar of applause of the spectators.
After the performances of EDDs, a representative gathering of Officers and Other Rankers of 143 Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Squadron presented a mock demonstrative operation in the event of a chemical attack.
Afterwards, the visiting Commander was invited to plant a sapling in the compound as a token of memory of his visit to the SLE complex in Mattegoda. During the Commander’s stay there, he shared a couple of thoughts with Officers and Other Rankers and inquired into their well-being and posed for a group photograph.
After a while, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake addressed a gathering of Officers and Other Ranks where the Commander spelt out his vision and future objectives.
The Commander also left his signature in the SLE Visitors’ Book before his departure.
Major General Dananjith Karunaratne, Director General General Staff at the Army Headquarters, General Officer Commanding, 57 Division, Engineer Brigade Commander, Regimental Centre Commandant, Deputy Centre Commandant, SLE, together with Senior Officers, Officers and Other Rankers witnessed the event.