Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Sri Lanka Army Commemorates 63rd Anniversary and Army Day with Commander as Chief Guest

Sri Lanka Army, much-respected saviours of the Nation, who triumphantly eradicated the 30-year long LTTE terrorism three years ago, and is now fully committed to the nation-building development tasks, is 63 years old today (10).

The Army, as an admirable force to reckon with, marked its birthday today, dedicated Army Day (October 10) during a colourful parade and special ceremony at CR & FC grounds, Colombo 7 this morning. A string of religious ceremonies that invoked blessings on the organization preceded today’s peak of the anniversary events.

Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army graced the pinnacle of Wednesday’s commemorative military events as the Chief Guest in the company of all senior officers.

Lieutenant General Jayasuriya, on arrival at the premises was received and conducted to inspect the Guard Turn-Out, accorded in his honour, in keeping with formal military traditions. A few minutes later, the Commander symbolically hoisted the Army Flag, heralding the formal onset of the day’s agenda.

Immediately after flag hoisting, the Army song, “Sagarayen wata-Me mage mau rata….Rakimu sada,” jointly sung by everyone present, rent the air, adding grandeur and patriotic sentiments to the occasion.

The next moment on the itinerary was solemn and dignified since memories would never die, as they say. A one-minute silence in honour of all War Heroes who sacrificed their lives during the sacred mission of defending the Motherland and those who went missing in action, was then observed.

The stage was set for the day’s highlight, next as the Parade Commander in his colourful attire reported the parade to the Commander of the Army in accordance with military traditions.

The ceremonial parade with Regimental colours, accorded to the Commander, amidst fluttering Army Regimental Flags and melodic rhythms of patriotic songs in the background, lasted nearly for an hour as all eyes remained glued to the spectacle.

The much-awaited moment of significance on the day’s itinerary followed next as the Commander rose to his feet with his customary address to the troops, in which he paid a glowing tribute to the troops for their dedication towards country’s development as partners for realizing His Excellency’s future vision to make Sri Lanka the miracle of Asia. (See separate full speech of the Commander)

Afterwards, the Commander did not forget to share a couple of thoughts with a cross section of retired senior Army officers, invitees as well as Other Ranks who were attending the occasion during refreshments after the day’s main ceremony was over.

A representative gathering of past Commanders, retired senior officers and their spouses, principal staff officers, senior officers and other ranks also took part in the ceremony.

Afterwards Lieutenant General Jayasuriya together with Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya and senior officers called at Attidiya Mihindu Seth Medura, wellness resort where some 50 dependant War Heroes are receiving therapeutic treatment for the rest of their lives.

Befitting the occasion, the Commander and accompanying visitors spoke to the inmates at Mihindu Seth Medura and gave away gift parcels brought with them. The project, the brainchild of Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development was built by the Ministry of Defence and its management was later transferred to the Army in view of Army’s efficiency in running places of this nature.

As the final segment of the day’s programme, the Commander takes part in an all rank tea party, organized at the Army Headquarters plus an all rank dinner at Panagoda Army Cantonment.