August 11, 2020
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    Memories of Kokavil Siege Refreshed Paying Tribute to Their Gallantry on 30th Anniversary Day

    July 14, 2020

    A distinguished gathering of battle-hardened War Heroes of our times, including Secretary Defence Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunarathna, former Commander of the Army, General (retd) Daya Ratnayake and a host of senior Tri Service Officers and personnel, members of the Maha Sangha and clergy, patriots, scholars, next of kin of fallen War Heroes and invitees who flocked to the Western Province Cultural Centre Auditorium, (NADA) at Colombo 7, July (11) while paying the highest tribute to gallantry, closely refreshed the memories of War Heroes who made the supreme sacrifice for defence of the famous Kokavil Transmission Tower and the Army Camp from marauding LTTE terrorists during 27 June-11 July 1990.

    The day's event, dedicated to refresh the heroic memories at Kokavil in 1990, in which Captain Saliya Aladeniya, the first recipient of the prestigious Parama Weera Vibushanaya medal made the supreme sacrifice along with 54 fellow Army personnel and 4 civil staffers without surrendering to the terrorists, coincided with the 30th annual Commemoration. The Kokavil battle that occurred during a period of 26 days of siege after terrorists surrounded the camp is regarded a memorable milestone in the fight against terrorism which also showcased the true spirits of heroism of the armed forces and their selfless dedication.

    The singing of the national anthem after the day's Chief Guest, Secretary Defence, kicked off the proceedings. Transfer of merits to their memories through the age-old 'Mathaka Wasthra' ritual with the 'Pen Wedeema', performed by the Maha Sangha was joined by all attendees turning the place to be very solemn. The day's Chief Guest and other selected guests afterwards placed flower bouquets before the photos of those fallen ones and paid their respect.

    After the brief welcome address of Mr Charith Kiriella, Chairman, Aarya Foundation, the Kokavil Tribute Song reveberated as the soothing voice of the popular singer, Dayan Witharana gave true meaning to the chain of episodes that worked off at Kokavil during that critical phase of the war for peace.

    The meeting then invited General (Retd) Daya Rathnayake, former Commander of the Army and himself a most respected war veteran who was behind one of the driving forces to rid LTTE terrorists from the eastern theatre of battles during humanitarian operations, to deliver the ' Kokavil' memorial lecture, in which he summed up the sequence of events that prompted LTTE terrorists to round up the camp and target the transmission tower and the subsequent siege they placed on heroic Army soldiers. He praised the sustained bravery, determination, commitment and true patriotism exemplified by those heroic sons of Sri Lanka and the manner they defended the camp until terrorists overran it.

     

    During the event, next of kin of fallen Kokavil War Heroes were awarded gifts before they lit oil lamps in memory of their loved ones who perished in Kokavil. Major General (retd) Kamal Gunarathna, the day's Chief Guest who is also one of the most admired and respected War Heroes of our times afterwards rose to his feet and addressed the gathering, taking all those present down the memory lane. He was outspoken and underlined the importance of refreshing those memories for the best interest of future generations.

     

    - SL Army

    Last modified on Monday, 13 July 2020 20:41

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