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Military Formality Revived: SLA 'Guest Night' Raises a Toast to HE

Sri Lanka Artillery (SLA),  the regiment honoured by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (23) by awarding President’s and Regimental Colours, had their formal ‘Guest Night’ and the banquet on Wednesday (24) evening at Hotel Hilton Colombo.

The historic and momentous formality the Army has inherited from the times of the colonial days, assumed greater significance and dignity this evening (24) when the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, together with the First Lady Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, adding grandeur to the ceremonial event.

Secretary to HE the President, Mr. Lalith Weeratunge and Mrs. Weeratunge, Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya and Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya, Colonel Commandant SLA, Major General J. C. Rambukpotha and Mrs. Champika Rambukpotha, Former Commanders of the Army and a representative gathering of nearly 200 officers with their spouses attended the special event.

Commander of the Army accompanied by Colonel Commandant SLA received the Chief Guest on arrival and President Seva Vanitha Army Branch, Mrs. Manjulika Jayasuriya, offering a bouquet of flowers, welcomed the First Lady.

Soon after the buglers made the formal ‘Dinner Call’ in accordance with military traditions, a toast was hosted in honour of His Excellency the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka before the banquet proper commenced with regalia.

Towards the end of the arrangement, Major General J. C. Rambukpotha, as Colonel Commandant, made a brief oration and presented several tokens of mementos to distinguished guests. Raising a separate toast to the future well-being of the SLA, the proceedings of the event came to a close.