President declares open the new Army HQ at Sri J’Pura

November 08, 2019

HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, declared open the new Sri Lanka Army Headquarters at Sri Jayawardenepura, Battaramulla at its inaugural warming and formal handover ceremony, today morning (8 November).

Minister of Mass Media and State Minister of Defence, Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Retd) SHS Kottegoda, WWV RWP  RSP  VSV  USP ndc, was also present at this historic occasion.

The ten-storied New Army Headquarters is contained in Blocks Nos. 6 & 7 of the new combined Defence Headquarters complex with Navy and Air Force wings and extents 77 acres in full. The Army HQ is enhanced with state-of-the-art security system, office rooms, two helipads, accommodation facilities, vehicle parks, restaurants, cafeterias and catering appliances, generators, water storage tanks, libraries, and all other facilities and is considered as the largest office building in Sri Lanka with office capacity for more than 4000 personnel. Ministry of Defence, office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Navy and Air Force Headquarters are also projected to transfer in here when constructions are fully completed.

President Sirisena was received by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva set with a street-line greeting, and then a drive-past military Guard offered at the main entrance.

Thereafter, President uncovered the ceremonial plaque of opening of the new Army HQ, then with the  chanting of ‘Seth Pirith’ by members of the Maha Sangha and blessings of other denominations the main entrance to the Army HQ was opened by the president  by cutting a ribbon.

Then, President warmed the office of the Commander of the Army at the new Army HQ. A brief discussion was held at the Commander’s new office with the participation of Senior Additional Secretary to the President, Secretary Defence, Tri-Service Commanders, and Chief of Staff of Army.

Later, President awarded   two new Presidential Medals to representative recipients  named, ‘Sewabhimani Padakkama’ and ‘Sewa Padakkama ’ being awarded as a conceptual notion of HE the President, reflecting the widening scope for award of such medals as recognition of unblemished conduct and service in the past 10 years after 2009. Both Medals relate to outstanding service of Tri-servicemen, Police Officers and Civil Staffers who have dedicated for post-war development of the country maintaining excellent conduct and commitment.

As the final event of the day, President and the Commander of the Army attended planting of saplings at new Headquarters.

The New Defence HQ complex across 77 acres in total was established in the former Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force premises and also in the lands, earlier occupied by the Airport and Civil Aviation Authority. A few private lands adjoining the complex were also acquired in addition against compensations to be used for this new Defence HQ complex.

Senior Additional Secretary to the President, Navy and Air Force Commanders and the acting Inspector General of Police and senior military officers were also present at the occasion.