25th July 2020 20:39:42 Hours
Highlanders of the Army, the Gemunu Watch (GW) Regimental Headquarters at Kuruwita on Saturday (25) laid a red carpet and awarded monumental military honours to Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army who is also the Chairman of National Sports Selection Committee when he turned up there to inaugurate GW's new fully-equipped Indoor Stadium and foundation-laying ceremony for erection of a state-of-the art Pavilion inside the premises.
A colour-rich and vibrant Guard Turnout at the entrance to the GW Regimental HQ at first greeted him after the GW Centre Commandant received the day's Chief Guest in keeping with military formalities before he was warmly received by Major General Suraj Bangsajayah, Colonel of the Regiment, GW, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force and Commander ARTRAC on arrival.
Elegantly-dressed GW troops elsewhere in the parade ground adding a legacy to historical annals of the regimental HQ awaited the day's protagonist's arrival there. After a few minutes, the parade commander reported it to the visiting Commander of the Army who afterwards reviewed it and took the salute from the special dais, a rare event happening in the GW Regimental HQ after absence of so many years. Paying the highest tribute to the memory of fallen GW War Heroes, the Army Chief later on placed floral wreaths at the GW memorial and recalled memories in a solemn moment.
Laying of the foundation-stone for the proposed new pavilion, to be erected inside its playground was first in the day's agenda. At the invitation of Major General Suraj Bangsajayah, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, amid 'Seth Pirith' at the auspicious minute laid the corner-stone and signalled the inauguration of the project. The day’s Chief Guest after a while was invited to add memories too to his visit by planting a sapling in the premises.
Unveiling of the separate name-board and the special plaque, the day's Chief Guest then declared the new Indoor Stadium, dedicated to Deshabandu Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Wimaladasa Stadium, opened setting the stage ready for an exhibition match to warm its Badminton Court in the presence of the Chief Guest and other invitees.
After a brief welcome address of Major General Bangsajayah, a cash cheque to the value of Rs 4 million, proceeds earned from ‘Minipura Gemunu Nada' Trade Fair was presented on the same occasion to the day's Chief Guest by him to be used for Army Welfare Projects. A few minutes later, the day’s Chief Guest addressed the troops and spoke about the importance of sports as a tool to promote collective responsibility and one’s physical stamina.
As the final segment of the day, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva joined GW senior officers and other Officers for a lunch treat, hosted in his honour at Officers' Mess before taking a group photo. Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva left a few complimentary remarks in the visitors’ book before he took leave of the premises. A large gathering of Officers and Other Ranks of the GW witnessed the day’s events.
Both projects were made possible due to untiring efforts of Major General Suraj Bangsajayah, Centre Commandant GW and Council Members who closely supported and implemented the projects with funds, made available by the GW Regimental HQ. Several GW veterans, retired Officers and Other Ranks were also present.