20th December 2018 14:22:56 Hours
Handover of legal documents and keys of newly-erected 118 homes to War Heroes, Next of Kin (NOK) of those Killed In Action (KIA) and those Wounded In Action (WIA) under the Stage III/IV of the ‘Commander’s Special Housing Project’ and award of National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) certificates to 147 potential Army retirees who underwent training in 'Production of Heavy Vehicles' Course at Galkulama Training School, took place on Wednesday (19) at the Defence Services College - Colombo 2 during a simple ceremony.
Major General Dampath Fernando, Chief of Staff of the Army received the day's distinguished guest, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake as the Chief Guest soon after his arrival during the course of the proceedings of the phenomenal ceremony were underway. At the commencement of the proceedings, Major General Dampath Fernando, Chief of Staff of the Army, Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Rukmal Dias, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Forces (SLAVF), Major General Shavendra Silva, Adjutant General and senior officers were welcomed by Brigadier N.K Wadugodapitiya, Director Veterans' Affairs and several other Senior Officers upon their arrival.
Those 118 new houses were constructed by Army troops on a conceptual notion of the Commander of the Army who has established the 'Commander's Special Housing Project Fund' under its Stages III & IV after previous stages also constructed many houses earlier in the past one year. The distribution of keys to those new homes for War Heroes/Next of Kin of fallen War Heroes, along with a cash cheque of Rs 15,000/= to each beneficiary was respectively made by the Commander, Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Commandant, SLAVF and a few Senior Officers.
The day's ceremony commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp in accordance with traditions and recital of the Army song and the observance of one-minute silence in memory of all fallen War Heroes. Brigadier N.K Wadugodapitiya, Director of Army Veterans' Affairs delivered the welcome speech at the outset.
The latter part of the ceremony was devoted for distribution of NVQ certificates to 147 potential Army retirees who followed the vocational Course for 'Production of Heavy Vehicles' at Galkulama Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Training School. NVQ Certificate awarding ceremony was joined by Dr Saranga Alahapperuma, Chairman, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Adjutant General and Director, Army Veterans' Affairs.
A memento of appreciation was also presented to Dr Suranga Alahapperuma at the same occasion by the Chief of Staff considering the contribution made towards the success of the training programme for Army personnel. A vote of thanks raised by the Warrant Officer-II N.V.P.N.A Ranasinghe of the Special Forces and recital of the national anthem brought the day's ceremony to end.