06th December 2018 18:21:03 Hours
Sri Lanka Army by establishing the country’s first ever Angampora Experiment Institute and Training Centre (AEITC) at Panagoda Army Cantonment with state patronage added a new chapter to the field of Army sports on Tuesday (4) during an induction (Kala Elimangalya) display of Army Angampora players before a gathering, headed by Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake Commander of the Army.
‘Angampora’ a martial art that dates back to the times of Sri Lankan royalties has been locally used as a particular self-defensive fighting technique, endowed with different characteristics, such as astrology, meditation, medical methods, sorcery, illusory tricks, etc and was practised exclusively by our royalties to resist foreign invaders who also during colonial times prohibited the practice of this ‘Angampora’ in the country since they feared its operational aspect.
The establishment of this special wing was a result of a proposal made by Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana, Chairman of the Army Angampora Committee and Director General General Staff (DGGS) after the former Commander of the Army General Crishanthe De Silva (Retd) initially introduced the concept of reviving this age-old technique of self-defence again in the Army early in January 2017.
130 Army soldiers under the capable tutelage of recognized Angampora instructors whose generations relate their origins to the times of ancient Kings received a comprehensive training for more than 18 months before they become qualified to enter graduation and pass out.
Those veteran instructors, Messrs Ravi Wanakulaarachchi, Anthony Don Wijesinghe and Kala Vibhushana Kala Keerthi Devinda Laksiri Ranasinghe performed a dedicated service to train those 130 Army Angampora players with enormous enthusiasm and commitment for 18 months.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake Tuesday (4) evening unveiled a plaque and formally inaugurated the state-of-the-art Angampora practising hall (Maduwa) and witnessed their thrilling skills in a display that sent shock waves among the spectators.
Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Sports and government officials, having evaluated the significance of the project have extended their fullest cooperation for establishment of this training institute as a permanent wing with the objective of popularizing this martial art among the youth since the Army has now taken the initiative in this regard.
Major General Dampath Fernando, Chief of Staff and Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana received the Army Commander on arrival at the venue to be introduced to veteran instructors who took pains to train Army personnel in Angampora. Those instructors’ contribution to the training was appreciated by the Commander by presenting separate gifts and mementos to them.
The Commander’s brief address to the occasion praised all those who worked hard to bring this old fighting method back to life and appreciated their dedication.
Before the end of the event, Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana presented a memento to the day’s Chief Guest, Commander of the Army for his gracious presence and the support given to him to make it a reality.
Director General Sports Major General Anura Sudasingha who also took much interest in the project was also present, together with several Senior Officers including the Secretary to the Army Angampora Committee, Lieutenant Colonel J. K. R. P Jayasinghe.