10th October 2023 18:41:41 Hours
The Sri Lanka Army, the unmatched service provider plus the proud ‘Defender of the Nation’ which led a sustained crusade against ruthless terrorism and brought durable peace to the Nation after more than three decades of human suffering marked its 74th Anniversary today (10 October) with grandeur at Panagoda Army Cantonment, pledging that it would continue to be the leading guarantor of the national security.
Fluttering multi-coloured flags including the Army flag, regimental ones and formations that presented a dramatic backdrop for the day’s formal spectacle where Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage RWP RSP ndu, Commander of the Army added dignity and prominence to the commemoration as the Chief Guest, set the stage aptly ready for the day's proceedings in the glittering ceremony soon after the Army Chief's arrival was heralded.
Typical of military formalities, a smartly-attired Guard Turnout salute greeted the day's Center Commandant of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry Regiment, welcomed the Commander of the Army to the location. Minutes after the honours, he arrived at the entrance to the SLLI parade ground with Mrs Janaki Liyanage, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit where Major General W.A.S.S Wanasinghe RSP VSV USP ndu, Chief of Staff, together with the Adjutant General, Major General S.R.B Aluvihare RWP RSP ndu psc, extended a warm welcome and ushered him to commence the day's proceedings by hoisting the Army Flag at first.
Soon after the Army Song that sums up the hallowed duties and selfless commitments of All Ranks reverberated, all invitees rose to their feet and solemnly observed one-minute silence in memory of all fallen War Heroes whose legacy of heroism has gone into the annals of the Army and Sri Lanka's history.
This year’s Army Day parade commanded by Major General M.G.W.W.W.M.C.B Wickramasinghe RWP RSP ndu psc, Director General General Staff, together with Brigadier S.P Malawarage RSP USP IG, 2nd in Command consisted of 85 Officers and 650 Other Ranks of all 25 Regiments with Colour squads. After the Chief Guest reviewed the parade, elegantly-dressed troops saluted the Army Commander in conformity with military traditions.
In another gesture of remembrance, the day's Chief Guest, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage afterwards pinned newly introduced Army Commander’s Commendation Badge on 43 selected Army personnel including Officers and Other Ranks who have made the organization proud and contributed to make the organization better. The laureates were distinct achievers in bravery, honesty, commitment towards the national emergencies and duty without considering own threats to their lives, etc.
The Commander in his brief address to the occasion paid tribute to all past Commanders, fallen and injured War Heroes, serving Officers, Other Ranks, civil servants and their families and urged All Ranks to continue their good work and commitment in future, too for the best interests of the country. He stressed that the Army will always be committed towards preserving the Constitution and the democratic process while ensuring the well-being of the citizenry. The Army Chief also stated that Sri Lanka Army endeavors to be a role model in judicious resource management and will render its fullest support towards national efforts for economic revival.
The day's glittering event was attended by the Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Commandant of Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Principal Staff Officers, Security Force Commanders, Officers, spouses of Senior Officers and Other Ranks.