26th February 2021 09:49:04 Hours
The awarding ceremony of the Inter Regiment Practical Rifle Shooting Competition - 2021, one of the most-awaited features in the Army took place this afternoon (25) at the Marksmanship and Sniper Training School (MSTS) at Diyatalawa with General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army gracing the occasion as the day’s Chief Guest.
The Inter Regiment Practical Rifle Shooting Competition conducted under three categories (open, service regiments and novices) has a history to the year 1953 when the Army inaugurated the first competition at Diyatalawa. After the founding of the MSTS as a professional training centre in 1989, Army marksmen and shooters reached new heights and have been winning national and international awards to-date.
The day’s awarding ceremony on Thursday (25) got to a start with formal raising of the flags of the Army, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Sri Lanka Army Small Arms Association and MSTS, together with all Regimental flags. The recital of the Army song and observance of 2-minute silence in memory of fallen War Heroes set the stage ready for Brigadier Vipula Ihalage, MSTS Commandant and Vice President Sri Lanka Army Small Arms Association to deliver welcome remarks.
The day’s setting was then coloured with a practical shooting demonstration, which reflected skills and professional standards those shooters have achieved after training at the MSTS.
The awarding of medals and trophies to winners commenced afterwards with the participation of several Senior Officers before the day’s Chief Guest was invited to award medals and trophies to the best achievers in the competition as the climax of the day’s event.
This year’s open Championship was won by Gemunu Watch shooters and the runners up were Gajaba Regiment shooters. The 3rd place was secured by shooters of the Special Forces.
In the Open category, 27 teams competed for supremacy while 11 teams vied in the Novices category.
In the Novices category, Championship was won by shooters in the Commando Regiment and the runners up were Gemunu Watch shooters. The 3rd place went to the Special Forces.
In the Service category, the Championship was clinched by the Sri Lanka Army Service Corps. The runners up slot went to the Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police and the third place to the Corps of Engineer Service.
In the Open category, the Best Shooter was Warrant Officer 1 W.P.N Dhammika of Gemunu Watch. In the Service category, the Best Shooter was Warrant Officer 1 W.M.D.K Wickramasingha of Sri Lanka Army Service Corps. The Best Shooter Championship in the Novices category was won by Private R.M.R Buddhika of Gemunu Watch.
Meanwhile, Brigadier Priyantha Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka Armoured Corps was adjudged the 1st in the Brigadier and General rank category. Brigadier G.M.C.K.B Ekanayake of Sri Lanka Light Infantry won the 2nd place and Brigadier G.L.S.W Liyanage of Sri Lanka Signal Corps won the 3rd place.
In the Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel category, Lieutenant Colonel A.M.T.N Abeykoon of Commando Regiment won the 1st place and Lieutenant Colonel D.S.C.S.K Athukorala of Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment won the 2nd place and Lieutenant Colonel H.A.A.N.C Prabath of Mechanized Infantry Regiment won the 3rd place.
The Chief Guest awarded medals, certificates and trophies to those achievers and addressed the gathering and congratulated the winners saying that the professionalism in rifle shooting was one of the indispensable skills of any army in the world.
Principal Staff Officers, Senior Military Officers, Officers and Other Ranks were present during the awarding ceremony.
The vote of thanks of the Inter Regiment Practical Rifle Shooting competition was delivered by Major Supun Samarakkody, Secretary, Sri Lanka Army Small Arms Association.
Here follow some of the overseas championships Sri Lanka Army shooters have so far attended or won in addition to national and local achievements.
11th South Asian Shooting Championship - 2010 in Bangladesh
4th Asian Air Rifle Championship
11th South Asian Shooting Championship
Olympics 2012 in London
47th World Firing Championship - 2012
Common Wealth Games - 2014 in Scotland
11th World Firing Championship - 2014 in Czech Republic
8th Asian Air Gun Championship,
Far East Asia Handgun Championship - 2015 in Malaysia
13th Asian Air Gun Championship in Kuwait
Olympics Quarter Championship in India in 2016
12th South Asian Firing Championship - 2016 in India
12th IMSSU World Championship - 2016
Rio Olympic 2016
48th World Firing Championship
First IPSC Rifle World Championship - 2017 in Russia
20th IMSSU World Championship - 2017 in Czech Republic
Handgun World Shoot - 2017 in Chateauroux, France
13th IMSSU World Championship - 2018 in Finland
13th Asian Shooting Championship - 2019 in Nepal
Australasia Handgun Championship - 2019