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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Light Infantry's "Kandula" Saga Documented in Two New Books

A distinguished gathering, headed by Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army, Senior officers and others, gathered at the Colombo National Arts Gallery on Sunday (18) evening to receive copies of documented history of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry's (SLLI) "Kandula," the Regimental mascot that has served the SLLI uninterruptedly for 50 years.

Sunday (18) evening's book launch came about as the second segment of the day's proceedings.

The photographic exhibition that coincides with the phenomenal importance of the lineage of ' Kandula I'  to 'Kandula VII'  in the past 50 years is also, now on  at the same venue, beginning this morning (18) after it was declared open by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya.

One multicoloured bilingual pictorial, named " Kandula, the Elephant Mascot" with many photos that depict various stages of the elephant's association in Royal, Presidential, Independence Day, National and other events of significance, decorate the dossier, produced by researchers in the SLLI Regiment.

The other historical Sinhala saga, " Mangala Hasthi, Kandula" (Auspicious Elephant, Kandula), authored by an editorial board of the SLLI also saw its birth Sunday (18) evening before a huge gathering of invitees and elephant lovers.

On arrival, the Chief Guest was warmly received by Major General R. M. D Rathnayake, Colonel of the SLLI Regiment and ushered to the main auditorium.

As the proceedings got underway, maiden copies of both works were presented to the Chief Guest, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Major General R. M. D Rathnayake, Colonel of the SLLI Regiment after formalities and traditions, like oil-lamp lighting, theme songs, two-minute silence in memory of fallen war heroes, etc took place.

The Guest Speaker, Jackson Anthony, the well-known journalist cum actor cum lecturer tracing historical roots that spanned into pre-Christian times delivered an interesting address to the occasion while extracting parallels in our olden days where animals had been used as man's friends fighting against the foes.

Mr Rajapaksa, taking time off to watch the photographic exhibition, did  not  fail to spend a few minutes with the "Kandula VII' who was relaxing outside the main hall after being brought to the ceremony. A special documentary screened on the life-span of 'Kandulas' in the SLLI, added special significance to the occasion.