29th October 2022 22:41:09 Hours
The Sri Lanka Army's Special Forces Regiment (SF), one of the Sri Lanka's top special operations forces and a best-trained unit the country can boast, being well-geared to perform any unconventional or unorthodox covert missions, inducted one more elite batch of 19 highly-trained Officers and 595 Other Ranks upon completion of their intensive nine-month long Training Courses No - 52 and 53 on Saturday (29) during a thrilling ceremony at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS) at Maduruoya.
The eventful passing out parade (POP) of the best of the best and its ceremonials, assumed greater significance with the arrival of Lieutenant General Vikum Liayange, Commander of the Army as the day's Chief Guest, to be received warmly by Major General DGS Senerathyapa RWP RSP ndu, Commandant Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force and Colonel of the Regiment, SF, together with Colonel DS Horawalavithana WWV RWP RSP, Commandant, SFTS and invited the Army Chief to review the Guard Turnout at the entrance to the SFTS.
The day's Chief Guest was then invited to review the parade and receive the salute of those SF undergraduates who would not hereafter hesitate to go where other troops fear to tread, scoping out potential threats, taking out strategic targets, and conducting daring rescue missions.
The proceedings of the ceremony set off as a helicopter hovering over brought down SF insignias and badges to be pinned on the day's undergraduates. The Commander of the Army after the investiture of Special Forces badges at first to a representative group of the day's passing out undergraduates, paved the way for Major General DGS Senerathyapa RWP RSP ndu, Major General WTWG Ihalage RWP RSP psc, Major General JPC Piris RWP RSP ndc, Major General HDWKN Eriyagama RWP RSP and Major General RMM Ranasingha WWV RWP RSP in succession to follow suit and pin the rest of those badges on those undergraduates. Swearing of the SF oath that followed after a while brought the day's spectacle to new heights as the stage was set to honour the best in the Course.
Captain DHMTM Herath and 2nd Lieutenant JSSM Jayakody were rewarded as best students of both courses respectively. Awards for the best in physical fitness in both courses went to Lieutenant TAKS Rathnayake and Lance Corporal Chanrdasiri RM. Best Shooter awards in both Courses were presented to Lance Corporal Deshapriya UBRP and Lance Corporal Kumara JTP, all of who received trophies for excellence from the Army Chief, amid roars of applause as their names were read out.
Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, speaking out his mind delivered a brief address to those SF undergraduates, recalled heroic past of fallen and injured SF Heroes, and urged them to preserve their exceptional skills and the reputed glory of the SF at all times while committing themselves to assigned missions. He reminded those graduates of the importance of their duties in future in diversified settings and thanked the Regiment for inviting him to the occasion.
After tracing the history of the SF and how it came into being, the day's Chief Guest commended the SF for its series of unmatched contribution to the security of the country and their unmatched sacrifices. Paying a glowing tribute to all fallen SF War Heroes, he commended parents and next of kin of those SF graduates who consented to their enlistment to the SF.
He also spoke high of the support being given to the armed forces and their well-being by the government. The Chief Guest also paid a special tribute to all disabled and serving SF members and pointed out the exceptional dignity and pride, associated with the Special Forces, as a unique regiment.
The conclusion of his brief speech saw the day's Chief Guest being honoured with final compliments by the day's graduates who saluted him again as the parade was set to march off.
Special Band display, Sky Divers display of skills, Taekwondo show, SF skills display, Combat Riders display plus Urban Fighters Direct Action Display, fighting in Built-up Areas and Unarmed Combat Fighting took the centerstage adding colour and variety afterwards as entertaining features before the day’s proceedings reached culmination. Towards the end of the main segment, the day's Chief Guest was invited to appear for a group photograph with all passing out graduates and join refreshments with visiting Senior Officers, invitees and Officers.
Mrs Janaki Liyanage President Army Seva Vanitha Unit, A gathering of Senior Officers, including the Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Security Forces Commanders Directors, Senior Officers, invitees, parents and well-wishers were at the location.