Sri Lanka Army

Defender of the Nation

Published on - 10/1/2003

Sri Lanka Army\'s 54th anniversary celebrations begin

“I think soldiering was in my blood and I really cared for nothing else.” -Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck

The symbolic gesture of Flag Blessing, the prelude to forthcoming 54th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Army got underway at the most sacred Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi premises this morning (1st October 2003), graced by Army Commander Lt. Gen L. P Balagalle and a representative gathering of Senior Officers of the Sri Lanka Army.

This annual, solemn and dignified religious ceremony commenced this morning after military personnel, bearing respective Army flags that were to be symbolically blessed in a procession, circled the Sri Maha Bodhi's lower layer (Welimaluwa) thrice before flags were delivered to their Senior Officers to be spread over at the upper layer (Udamaluwa) of this sacred place for blessing.

All 214 Army flags representing Army Headquarters, Volunteer Force Headquarters, Security Forces Headquarters, Divisions, Brigades, Regiments, Battalions and Army training schools were subsequently placed amidst thousands of white lotus flowers after flags were respectfully handed over to their Senior Officers.

A large gathering of devotees looked on as the colourful procession wended its way round the premises to the tunes of rhythmic beats.

The mellifluous religious rhythms, played by the Army band rent the air as simultaneous beating of drums heralded the onset of religious observances, to be conducted by Head of Atmasthanadhipathi, Ven. Pallegama Sirinivasa Nayake Thera.

Members of he Maha Sangha, upon administering of Pansil, invoked blessing on Army Flags and chanted Seth Pirith to bless the Army after floral and other offerings were made to the holy tree by the Commander and his entourage.

A special oration (Anusasana) to mark the occasion was then delivered followed by bestowing of merits on fallen heroes, and invoking of blessing on disabled soldiers and all Army personnel.

Subsequent to the oration, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Balagalle representing all ranks made a symbolic gesture of financial aid to the incumbent at Atamasthanadhipathi.