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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Refreshingly New Multi Purpose CIMIC Park in 51 Division Area Gifted to Jaffna Civilians

In a refreshingly new and multi-dimensional move to raise bonds of existing Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) to new heights, the 51 Division HQ of the Security Force HQ-Jaffna in line with the 'Army Way Forward Strategy-2020-2025' gifted its exclusive CIMIC Park for Sports, Recreation and Education Support to the local Jaffna populace on Sunday (8) in Kopay area during a ceremony, headed by General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army who graced the inaugural occasion as the Chief Guest.

The construction of this state-of-the-art, yet novel in concept, the CIMIC Park saw its fruition on an initiative, taken by Major General Chandana Wickramasinghe, General Officer Commanding 51 Division with the blessings of the Army Chief and Major General Sujeewa Senarath Yapa, Commander, Security Forces-Jaffna after receipt of financial sponsorship mainly from family members of late Mr J.S. Rajaratnam, Vice Principal at Hartley College, Point Pedro and several other impressed philanthropists who volunteered to support the project.

General Shavendra Silva as the Chief Guest unveiled a plaque at the invitation of the Jaffna Commander and the GOC, 51 Division HQ and declared the CIMIC Park, the first of its kind, perhaps in the whole of the country open before he undertook an inspection tour inside the mega community project, comprised of a Calisthenics unit, meant for physical training of youngsters, Rest and Recreation facility, Futsal indoor soccer game pitch facility, Educational support unit with library for children, Health and Medical aid facility, Recreational activity facility for cultural performances and transfer of knowledge to the young, etc.

Minutes after its inauguration, youngsters in the area joined an exhibition Futsal indoor soccer game before the day's Chief Guest by warming the pitch.

The eye-catching facility complex, laid with terra cotta pathways, flower plants and multifaceted sports equipment is also erected to further strengthen trust and confidence among civilians in order to inculcate a sense of companionship as their "own camp" in the area. To coincide with the Commander's 5 R concept, i. e. Ready, Reliable, Relevant, Resilient and Respectable, the new CIMIC Park provides an ideal resting and regenerating ground for Jaffna masses.

The five-year strategic plan, 'Sri Lanka Army Way Forward Strategy (SLAWFS) 2020-2025' of the Army Chief, provides the roadmap to develop the standards of the organization and promote the services being rendered to needy communities in respective areas as the “Protectors of the country and its people”. Nation-building and reconciliation are among main aspects in this regard.

With a view to gifting the civilians, both young and old with a 'fashionable trend in creating healthy habits, allowing society to improve their own physical and mental wellbeing as the means of developing trust and confidence between military and the community', the project was initiated in November 2021.

In the meantime, the Army Chief symbolically handed over the keys of a newly- constructed house in Sanguli North to Mrs R Dayaparan widow whose husband passed away due to a motor vehicle accident last year but has been leading a hand to mouth life with economic constraints. The sponsorship of Mr Vamadeva Yagendran, entrepreneur in Jaffna enabled 9 Sri Lanka Light Infantry troops of the 511 Brigade of the 51 Division of the Security Forces - Jaffna to build it using their technically-qualified manpower after the cornerstone was laid in October last year.

At the same location, the day's Chief Guest was invited to distribute school shoes to 20 needy school students who were invited to the occasion.

The day's Chief Guest General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army on arrival at the 51 Division camp HQ premises was saluted in a formal drive pass Guard Turnout at the entrance where he planted a sapling to symbolize the day’s event and also left memories by signing the 51 Division's visitors’ book before the Army Chief left the place.

Major General Sujeewa Senarath Yapa, Commander Security Force Headquarters-Jaffna, Major General Vinditha Mahinkanda, Commander, Forward Maintenance Area -North, Brigadier Udaya Herath, GOC 52 Division, Brigadier Prasanna Gunarathne, GOC 55 Division, Senior Officers, Officers and Other Ranks were associated with the day's ceremonies.