The Sri Lanka Army stated that arrangements have been finalized for the mega Aaloka Pooja (offering of lamps) ceremony at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya today. It is held to commemorate all the War Heroes, who laid down their precious lives in the war, and will coincide with the main ceremony at Battaramulla on National War Heroes’ Day (19), at Battaramulla. The Aaloka Pooja will see 28,619 lamps being lit.
The event is held with a view to transferring merit for the supreme sacrifice and to laud their memory for the gallantry and valour displayed in the defence of the motherland, to create a better tomorrow for all in the island, the Army said.
President Maithripala Sirisena, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Commanders of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director General (DG) of the Civil Security Department (CSD) and a gathering of the next of kin of the fallen War Heroes are expected to participate.
Meanwhile, the National War Heroes’ Day commemorations are scheduled to get underway, today, at the Battaramulla at the War Heroes’ monument, led by the President with the participation of the Prime Minister, the Speaker, Governors, Ministers, Chief Ministers, Secretary of Defence, the CDS, the Commanders of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, the IGP, the DG of the CSD, Chairperson of the Ranaviru Seva Authority, State officials and a gathering of relatives.
Next, with the sounding of the Last Post, honouring of their memory in the military way would mark the culmination of the formal ceremony, with trumpeters playing the Reveille at Battaramulla.
On the same morning, the unblemished and outstanding service of 50 Army, Navy and Air Force Senior Officers who are now considered war veterans will be honoured for their conduct by being awarded the Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) Medal that recognizes their dedication to the nation. Among recipients of those VSV laurels are the Commanders of the Tri-Forces, in addition to 24 more Army, 22 Navy and one Air Force War Heroes, some of who are presently in retirement. This ceremony is to be attended by the President at the President’s Secretariat.