19th April 2023 15:02:01 Hours
In parallel to the festive days that Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2023 celebrations got underway island-wide, the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS) made arrangements to welcome the New Year with a ceremony rich with traditional sweetmeats which was unfolded at the Mihilaka Medura premises of BMICH on 19 April 2023.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Shavendra Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil, on arrival at the venue as the chief guest was received by the Chief of Staff OCDS, Major General Udaya Kumara RSP VSV USP along with the Director General Naval & Air, Director General Coordinating and several Tri-Service senior officers serving at the office.
Giving priority to age-old traditions, the customary event got underway with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp. Addressing the gathering, the CDS wished all officers, files, and civil members of the OCDS for the New Year and conveyed his greetings to their families as well. Sharing his thoughts at the gathering, he highlighted the importance of celebrating these traditional festivals and gratefully recalled the service render by the Tri-Forces members amidst the festive seasons. The CDS also stated that His Excellency the President, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bold leadership and expertise in managing the challenging situations enabled the nation to celebrate the New Year with a new breath. He further invited all the Tri-Forces and Police personalities to join hands to strengthen the government’s endeavour to bring back sustenance and stability to the country. He further stressed that, as professional and disciplined forces in the country, all members should determine not to commit any action that would defame the image of these great organisations.
Recalling the experience he had during the dark times of the nation, General Shavendra Silva enunciated that the peace we celebrate today was achieved with numerous difficulties, and on the way to long-lasting peace, many gallant heroes of this nation have made the supreme sacrifice. Further, he wished speedy recovery to the war heroes who are presently under medication.
Toward the end of the address, he wished all members of the Tri-Services, Police, civil staff and their families a very happy and prosperous Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Subsequently, the Chief of Defence Staff distributed valuable gift parcels consisting of essential commodities for the civil staff of the OCDS.
The gathering saw its termination with the New Year Tea Table where the CDS dedicated time to speak with the members of the OCDS at the occasion. The event was attended by all staff of the OCDS and the Director/ Chief Executive along with few officials of the BMICH.