History of Gajaba Veterans' Association
The initiative of forming an association exclusively for the welfare of retired officers and other ranks of the Gajaba Regiment was a brainchild of Maj Gen (Retd) STT Jayasundara RWP VSV USP psc which he formally proposed in year 2000. As a result of this, 189 retired officers and other ranks of the Gajaba Regiment were assembled at the Gajaba Regimental Center at Saliyapura, Anuradhapura on 27th January 2001 and "Ex-Servicemen's Association of the Gajaba Regiment" was inaugurated under the patronage of Maj Gen STT Jayasundara.
The objectives of the Association were to foster fellowship, solidarity and camaraderie among both regular and volunteer members of the Gajaba Regiment, to promote and organize all legitimate means to further the wellbeing of the members and to provide financial, emotional and social assistance and relief for the needy members of the Association. In addition to these objectives, it was felt that both serving and retired members of the Gajaba Regiment needs to maintain a close relationship with each other, hence a need of an intermediary for communication between two parties. Reunions of the members and social networking are regarded as a vital link for achieving these objectives. The Regimental Center was very supportive from the inception and then Center Commandant, Lt Col CP Gallage RWP RSP was instrumental in appointing a serving Gajaba officer as an Administrative Officer of the Ex-Servicemen's Association to which the Colonel of the Regiment Maj Gen S Wanigasekera RWP RSP USP psc gave his unstinted support.
The Ex-Servicemen's Association of the Gajaba Regiment was registered as an affiliated body of the Sri Lanka Ex-Servicemen's Association (SLESA) on 26th June, 2002. At the AGM in year 2012 Maj Gen GDHK Gunaratne RWP RSP USP psc tabled a resolution proposing a new name for the Association i.e. "Gajaba Veterans' Association" which was unanimously accepted.
The present membership of the Association exceeds 1100 members which include both regular and volunteer, officers and other ranks, those who retired and formally resigned from the Army, as well as battle casualties who have been discharged on medical grounds. Since its inception, Gajaba Veterans’ Association has embarked on number of welfare programs for the benefit and welfare of its members.
One of the major projects initiated by the Association is the provision of artificial limbs to needy members in year 2009. The project was implemented in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Army Engineers Association using the donations from all quarters of the World. Rs 1.8 million worth of artificial limbs has been donated to 78 serving and medically board-out Gajaba soldiers. A scholarship program for needy children of the members who successfully complete Year 5 Scholarship Examination and GCE (O/L) Examination has been initiated by former Secretary of the Association late Col HHL de Silva KSV through the funding from members and well-wishers thus making way to have a scholarship fund for the Association, which was later named as "Col HHL De Silva Scholarship Fund" in his memory. At the moment over 100 children have been granted scholarships. All members those who enrolled in Death Donation Scheme will be given Rs 25,000.00 at the death of the member and/or spouse.
In addition, the Association takes a lead to get medical grants (including heart bypass surgeries, spectacles and hearing aids), scholarships for undergraduate children and employment opportunities to its members through SLESA.
The inauguration day of the association is commemorated on 27th January of each year at the Veteran's Home at Bolagala, Katana. The members also take this opportunity to commemorate and pay respect to the founding father of the Gajaba Regiment Maj Gen WIVKM Wimalaratne RWP RSP USP psc and all other fallen Gajaba heroes. The members (sometimes along with their families) spend 27th January with veterans at the Elder's Home. Members enjoy entertainment provided by Gajaba band, shares lunch and offer gift parcels to all veterans.
Former Colonel of the Regiment and Patron of the Association Maj Gen (Retd) STT Jayasundara RWP VSV USP psc, former President Col GC Premachandra KSV and present President Lt Col AD Subasinghe RSP who has been unanimously selected by members to this post during are the strength and pillars of the organization. For the first time in the history of the Association, Maj Gen STT Jayasundara has been awarded the "Honorary Membership" coveted as "Keterian for Life" at the AGM in March 2012. Also His Excellency the President has awarded Honorary Title "Deshakeerthi Jeasta Puravesi" to below named five members of the Association on 8th October, 2008 for the service they rendered to the fellow citizens of the country.
1. Col GC Premachandra KSV
2. Late Col HHL De Silva KSV
3. Capt JP Wimalson Neil RWP USP
4. Late WO I Mr HU Dabare
5. WO I Mr AB Kannangara
Annual subscription fees, contribution of the Gajaba Regiment out of the profit of "Gajaba Super Cross", donations from members and well-wishers and commission received from sale of "Poppy Flower" are the main income sources of the Association. However, every other year members organize income generation projects like lottery draws, stage dramas etc.
In 2009, Commander of the Army has donated building materials worth of Rs 1.5 million for the proposed office complex and holiday bungalow for Gajaba Veterans which is presently under construction at Saliyapura Camp premises with the supervision of the Regimental Center.
The Annual General Meeting of the Gajaba Veterans' Association followed by fellowship luncheon is being held on the month of March each year at Wadduwa Holiday Resort. However, for the benefit and convenience of members in 'Rajarata' area (as most of the Keterians are from Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kurunegala districts), a Bi-annual General Meeting is held at the Gajaba Regimental Center, Anuradhapura during the month of November under the backing of the Gajaba Regimental Center.
Executive Committee meetings are held once in a month and future programs and activities are discussed and decisions are taken. Each district is represented by a District committee and they too attend the Executive Committee Meeting.
Appointment Holders of the Executive Committee since 2001
|Maj CW Koralagamage USP||27.01.2001 -17.02.2002|
|Col GC Premachandra KSV||17.02.2002 - 29.03.2015|
|Lt Col AD Subasinghe RSP||29.03.2015 - to date|
|Lt (QM) NG Somapala||27.01.2001 -17.02.2002|
|Col HHL De Silva KSV||27.02.2002 - 07.09.2008|
|Mr WA Ganegama (ad interim)||08.09.2008 - 08.01.2009|
|Lt Col MKMK Amarasinghe RSP psc||08.01.2009 - 20.03.2016|
|Lt Col CJ Weerakoon RWP psc MSc||20.03.2016 - Up to Date|
|Col GC Premachandra KSV||27.01.2001 - 17.02.2002|
|LT (QM) NG Somapala||17.02.2002 - 09.03.2003|
|Mr HU Dabare||09.03.2003 - 06.10.2008|
|Capt GV Chandraratne||08.01.2009 - 18.02.2009|
|Capt JP Wimalson Neil RWP USP||18.02.2009 - to date|
|Honorary Vice President|
|Mr EMC Ekanayake||27.01.2001 - 09.03.2003|
|Mr TWK Somadasa||09.03.2003 - 12.03.2006|
|NNJ Perera||12.03.2006 - 07.03.2010|
|SLK Dedigama||07.03.2010 - 17.03.2013|
|Maj VH Jeewaratne||17.03.2013 - 29.03.2015|
|Lt Col CJ Weerakoon RWP psc MSc||29.03.2015 - 20.03.2016|
|Maj (QM) PH Chiltus JP||20.03.2016 - Up to Date|
|Honorary Assistant Secretary|
|Mr WM Karunaratne||27.01.2001 - 09.03.2003|
|Maj B Ediriweera||09.03.2003 - 12.03.2005|
|Lt WW Alwis||12.03.2005 - 16.03.2008|
|Mr WA Ganegama||16.03.2008 - 18.02.2009|
|Mr SLK Dedigama||18.02.2009 - 07.03.2010|
|Capt RAI Raigama||07.03.2010 - 27.03.2011|
|Maj NS Thotawatta RSP||27.03.2011 - 18.03.2012|
|Capt Lalith Abeysekera||18.03.2012 - to date|
|Honorary Assistant Treasurer|
|WO I Mr G Upasinghe||27.01.2001 - 17.02.2002|
|WO I Mr HU Dabare||17.02.2002 - 09.03.2003|
|WO I Mr G Upasinghe||09.03.2003 - 12.03.2005|
|Capt JP Wimalson Neil RWP USP||12.03.2005 - 08.01.2009|
|WO I Mr DA Kumaradasa||08.01.2009 - 18.03.2012|
|Lt KMCS Galagoda||18.03.2012 - 17.03.2013|
|Mr NNJ Perera||17.03.2013 - 20.03.2016|
|Maj KKIM Wimalasena USP||20.03.2016 - Up to Date|
GAJABA VETERANS' ASSOCIATION - OFFICE BEARERS 2016-2017
15th Annual General Meeting of the Gajaba Veterans' Association was held at Laaya Beach Hotel, Wadduwa on Sunday, 20th March 2016. Following office bearers were elected for the ensuing year.
|Patron||:||Maj Gen (Retd) STT Jayasundara RWP VSV USP psc|
|Vice Patron||:||Maj Gen (Retd) Seevali Wanigasekera RWP RSP VSV USP psc|
|Col GC Premachandra KSV|
|Honorary Members||:||Maj Gen (Retd) STT Jayasundara RWP VSV USP psc|
|Hon President||:||Lt Col (Retd) AD Subasinghe RSP USP|
|Hon Vice President||:||Lt Col CJ Weerakoon RWP psc MSc|
|Hon Secretary||:||Lt Col (Retd) MKMK Amarasinghe RSP psc PgD CPS|
|Hon Asst Secretary||:||Capt (Retd) Lalith Abesekera|
|Hon Treasurer||:||Capt (Retd) JP Wimalson Neil RWP USP|
|Hon Asst Treasurer||:||Maj (Retd) Vajira Wimalasena USP|
Executive CommitteeMr WA Ganegama
Mr PHA Victor
Mr SLK Dedigama
Maj (QM) MG Somaratne
Mr NNJ Perera
Mr MH Fernando
Mr GG Dharmadasa
Mr GW Chullasiri