|“Army to Open a Land Route to Jaffna Soon” – Commander Tells Gajaba Regiment Silver Jubilee|
|Monday, 03 November 2008|
“ON reaching the Jaffna’s Kilaly lagoon, about 7 km away from the troop positions as of now, the entire western part of Kilinochchi district would be sans terrorists, enabling the troops to re-open a main supply route to Jaffna shortly, said Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka at the Gajaba Regiment Silver Jubilee commemorations,” held at Saliyapura Regimental Headquarters Monday morning (3).
The Silver Jubilee commemoration of the elite Gajaba Regiment (GR), one of the most prominent and reputed Regiments in the Sri Lanka Army got underway, giving pride of place to the military ceremonials and traditions. The ceremonies of the day commenced at 8.30 a.m. when the Chief Guest Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, Commander of the Army arrived at the premises of the Keterians who in turn was accorded a Guard of Honour plus the military Guard Turn-out. He was then received by senior officers of the GR who were awaiting their Chief’s arrival there.
Marking the commencement of the ceremonies on the day, the Chief Guest, accompanied by Colonel of the Regiment Major General Jagath Dias and Senior GR Officers, paid floral tributes to the huge and magnificent War Hero monument at the Regimental Headquarters premises, erected in memory of all fallen GR War Heroes.
Major General Wijaya Wiamalaratne, founder of the Gajaba Regiment, now a legendary War Hero in contemporary times, exactly twenty five years ago was fondly recalled to the memory along with all other War Heroes after observing two-minute silence. To this date about 3500 GR warriors, popularly known as Keterians, the name deriving from their unit badge, have paid the supreme sacrifice, in accomplishing their noble mission of eradicating terrorism from the soil. Giving further weight to their dedication and commitment to the cause, the GR was conferred President’s Colours recently.
During the Commander’s address to the occasion, he appreciated the GR contributions and summed up the gains so far made by the Army in its quest for peace and where he said that the opening of a land route between Colombo and Jaffna is going to be a reality very soon. “As the troops are now closing in on the Kilaly lagoon, depriving the terrorists of their western Pooneryn bastion, the troops have so far managed to eliminate 80% of the LTTE fighting ability after suppressing them. Thus the western sector of the A-9 highway would remain completely clear,” said the Commander.
During a subsequent Press briefing, Commander further assured that capture of Mullaittivu simultaneously mobilizing many more battalions under four Divisions would form a 50 km-long frontage to the east of the A-9 road, providing full security to the area afterwards. Major General Jagath Dias, Colonel of the Regiment, as a token of memory and recognition presented the visiting Commander with a special plaque on the occasion on behalf of all War Heroes. Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka also spoke to a cross section of GR soldiers who have turned disable during offensives, launched in the fight against terrorism and did not forget to exchange a couple of views with them.
A record 3500 GR War Heroes in their fight against division of the country have made the supreme sacrifice so far, the highest number to have laid their lives from a single wing in the Army. The GR came into being in 1983 after Rajarata Rifles was disbanded. The present Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also served in this elite Regiment some time back before his retirement. Towards the end of the ceremony, all troops present on the occasion, with their senior officers, Officers and Other Ranks posed for a group photograph with the Chief Guest.
(Courtesy : Sri Lanka Army )
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
|< Prev||Next >|