19th August 2017 16:56:05 Hours
One of the elite Regiments of the Army, Special Forces (SF), which has recently moved into the new Regimental Headquarters premises in Naula, Matale from its previous Seeduwa location, expecting to provide more space and facilities to members of the Regiment, extended military honours to its Colonel of the Regiment, now the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake who himself belongs to the SF Regiment when he made his first visit to the SF Headquarters on Saturday (19) after assumption of office as the Army Chief.
Regimental Centre Commandant, SF, Brigadier Harendra Ranasinghe, received the visiting Lieutenant General Senanayake before he was invited to review the Guard Turnout, presented in his honour.
A few minutes later, a parade, comprised of 7 Officers and 126 Other Ranks saluted the day’s Chief Guest, Lieutenant General Senanayake after he reviewed it and returned to the special dais.
Seconds after the military honours, Lieutenant General Senanayake addressed the troops from the same venue and urged them to perform their duties with commitment and enthusiasm as members of a proud Regiment. Later on, he symbolized his visit to the place by signing a few documents at the newly-warmed office of the Colonel of the Regiments.
As another feature of the day’s event, the Commander of the Army was invited to leave memories of his visit to the SF Headquarters by planting a ‘Naa’ sapling in the compound.
A solemn memorial ceremony with specific features, typical of the formalities, enshrined in the SF Regiment took place afterwards at the SF War Hero monument after the day’s Chief Guest in the company of other senior SF Officers and Other Ranks, lined up and paid their respect to the memory of fallen War Heroes by kneeling down at the monument.
Laying bouquets of fragrant flowers and wreaths, the mourners, replete with emotions saluted their comrades as melancholic melodies rent the air.
Afterwards, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake jointly with the Centre Commandant, Special Forces inaugurated the new Officers’ Mess building of the 1 SF in the premises. SF Regiment council members, Senior Officers and Other Rankers joined the occasion. The occasion was added more importance by awarding a memento to the Commander of the Army by Commanding Officer 1 SF.
At the same time in surprise move, the Commander of the Army as an incentive to the ongoing construction work at the SF Regimental Headquarters gifted a Rs 1 million worth cheque to the Centre Commandant.
Before he left the SF Headquarters, the Commander left a couple of his thoughts in the SF Visitors’ Book and sat for a group photograph.
An All Ranks get-together at the 1 SF Regiment, followed by a formal dinner night in the same evening were to bring the day’s event to an end.