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Govt would do everything for welfare of soldiers

Defence Secretary pays tribute to Gajaba soldiers :

The Government and Defence Ministry will do everything possible to promote the welfare of the soldiers who selflessly fought on behalf of the country and also for the families of fallen War Heroes, said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.


Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at Gajaba Regiment Headquarters in Saliyapura, Anuradhapura.

The Defence Secretary was speaking to soldiers of the Gajaba Regiment at its Headquarters in Saliyapura, Anuradhapura last Friday.

The Defence Secretary who was formally an infantryman in his mother unit, the prestigious Gajaba Regiment (GR) recalled his cherished yesteryear memories.

The principal objective behind the trip was two-fold; to pay his tribute to all GR soldiers for their commitment and dedication, and also to meet them personally and appreciate their contribution, as the initial phase of a long-term country-wide program to separately meet all heroic soldiers who took part in the recent Vanni battles.

On his arrival a Guard Turn-out plus a special Guard of Honour saluted the visiting former soldier turned Defence Secretary who stood firm in the countryís quest for durable peace, free from terrorist violence.

A solemn moment, dignified with sentiments of valour and gratitude was next on his agenda. Rajapaksa placed floral bouquets at the foot of the marble War Heroes monument at the entrance to the GR Headquarters and saluted to their memory.

The next stop added further significance as he made a bee-line to offer his moving respect to the fallen military stalwart, Major General Wijaya Wimalarathne who was GRís architect and served it as its first Commanding Officer. Rajapaksa, impressed with new additions and improvement in the GR Headquarters premises moved about freely in the company of senior GR officers, including Vanni War Heroes, Major General Jagath Dias, General Officer Commanding in 57 Division, Major General Kamal Gunarathna General Officer Commanding in 53 Division, Brigadier C. Gallage General Officer Commanding in 55 Division, Brigadier Shavendra Silva, General Officer Commanding in 58 Division, GR Commandant and a few senior and junior officers.

He also interacted with soldiers who had particularly come to listen to him away from their duty points in newly liberated Vanni areas.

The Secretary Defence sat for lunch with hundreds of GR troopers before he left the premises.

Major General Jagath Dias representing all Keterians, as they are called, gifted a special memento to the visiting Defence Secretary as a token of memory after the Defence Secretary left his signature on the VIP book at GR Headquarters. Ioma Rajapaksa was also present.

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