HISTORY OF 1st BATTALION THE GAJABA REGIMENT
In late 70's the necessity of increasing infantry battalions emerged in countering the insurgency and maintaining the integrity of the country. To accomplish this requirement, the Sri Lanka Army 1st Rajarata Rifle Battalion was established on 15th January in 1980. Initialy the battalion was located at the Area Headquarters (North Central) Anuradhapura and later it was relocated at saliyapura. After a brief period on 15th March 1981, 1st Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment was established in Irattaperiyakulam in order to meet the requirement of infantry regiments for operational duties. This battalion was later stationed at Minneriya Army camp.
After Lieutenant Colonel L D C E Waidyaratne psc SLAC taking over duties as the Commanding Officer of 1st Rajarata Rifle at Saliyapura camp, the troops of that battalion reported to Volunteer Force Camp Diyatalawa for collective training. To fill the vacuum of troops at Saliyapura camp, the soldiers of 1st Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment were transferred to Saliyapura camp in June 1983 from Minneriya. After collective training, the soldiers of 1st Rajarata Rifle battalion, were posted to Colombo in order to suppress the ethnic unrest in Colombo. These troops subsequently returned to Saliyapura camp after accomplishing the assigned duties.
The 1st battalion Gajaba Regiment was established on 14th October 1983 by amalgamating the 1st Rajarata Rifle battalion and 1st Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment as per a decision taken by the Army Headquarters due to the prevailing ethnic and separatist situation in Sri Lanka. Lieutenant Colonel WIVKM Wimalaratne psc was appointed as the first Commanding Officer of this battalion and with 36 Officers and 752 Soldiers, the battalion was inaugurated. The inauguration was graced by the then Army Commander Major General T I Weeratunga VSV USP and all the senior officers of the Sri Lanka Army. It is vital to state that the leadership of the battalion was handed over to a handpicked versatile senior officer for the benefit of the entire Gajaba Regiment, and the Army.
The Gajaba Regiment was able to shine victoriously in the battlefield due to their commitment and continuous training in keeping with the motto, "Unity is Strength", under the guidance and leadership of Lieutenant Colonel WIVKM Wimalaratne psc. The first appointment holders of the battalion were Major B Jayasundara - the Second in Command, Capt AB Paranagama - the Adjutant and WO I K Ekanayake - the Regimental Sergeant Major. To date, under the command and leadership of the following Commanding Officers, the 1st Battalion continuous to flourish excellently as a special fighting battalion.
The battalion supported more than 48 major operations / other operations to eradicate the brutal terrorism from 14.10.1983 till the end of Humanitarian Operation. To honour the valiant troops, 07 x 09 Weera Wickrema Vibhushanaya, 24 x 60 Rana Wickrema Padakkama and 46 x 266 Rana Sura Padakkama gallantry awards have been awarded to Officers and Soldiers of the battalion. During the post-war era, this unit has contributed immensely to the development process of the country and protecting VVIP’s. At present the Unit is located at the Army Headquarters , Sri Jayawardhanepura as a commander security unit.
The Names of the Commanding Officers.
|1.||Lt Col W I V K M Wimalaratne psc||14.10.1983||01.08.1987|
|2.||Lt Col S T T Jayasundara psc||20.07.1985||20.12.1985|
|3.||Lt Col P Angammana||01.08.1987||08.07.1989|
|4.||Major Y N Palipana||30.08.1988||28.11.1988|
|5.||Lt Col N G Rajapaksa psc||08.07.1989||26.01.1991|
|6.||Lt Col U B L Fernando RSP psc||26.01.1991||01.05.1994|
|7.||Lt Col A K S Perera WWV RWP RSP||01.05.1994||18.09.1996|
|8.||Lt Col L H S C Silva WWV RWP RSP||18.09.1996||12.09.1998|
|9.||Major W T Premashantha RWP RSP||12.09.1998||18.09.2001|
|10.||Major W A M Weerasuriya RSP||18.09.2001||02.03.2005|
|11.||Lt Col N D S P Niunhella RWP RSP||02.03.2005||27.07.2007|
|12.||Lt Col S P Aluvihare||27.07.2007||05.11.2009|
|13.||Major L H M Rajapaksha RSP||18.02.2008||12.08.2008|
|14.||Lt Col I N A B Perera psc||05.11.2009||11.10.2011|
|15.||Lt Col H P I Perera RWP RSP||11.10.2011||30.09.2014|
|16.||Lt Col M L A De Silva psc||01.10.2014||14.03.2017|
|17.||Maj D Sooriyaarachchi RWP RSP||13.03.2017||02.06.2019|
|18.||Maj LAN Liyanarachchi psc||03.06.2019||17.05.2020|
|19.||Lt Col LAN Liyanarachchi psc||18.05.2020||Up to Now|
Army Commanders’ Security Unit