July 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army Friday (14) commemorated the 26th death anniversary of war hero Hasalaka Gamini Kularatne, the Sri Lankan soldier, whose supreme sacrifice saved the lives of hundreds of fellow soldiers when the LTTE sieged the Elephant Pass camp in July 1991.
The 26th Death Anniversary ceremony of Corporal Gamini Kularatne of 6th Battalion Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) took place at the Hasalaka Gamini Kularatne Memorial at Elephant Pass.
On 14 July 1991, during the attack on the Elephant Pass camp by thousands of LTTE terrorists, then Lance Corporal Kularatne, despite injuries he had received in the battle, climbed atop an explosive laden bulldozer driven into the besieged camp by LTTE and lobbed two grenades effectively destroying the monstrous weapon and killing himself.
The sacrifice Corporal Kularatne made with his life prevented the enemy's entry into the camp and ended the siege of the camp saving the lives of hundreds of soldiers.
Major General Duminda Keppetiwalana, GOC, 66 Division, representing the Kilinochchi Commander, together with family members of late War Hero, placed floral wreaths at the monument and paid their respect as the formal Last Post was sounded, giving due honor to his memory.
The monument to Hasalaka War Hero was set up at Elephant Pass with the remnants of the very bulldozer he destroyed.
The commemorative event, organized by the 66 Division and the 662 Brigade consisted of an all-night Pirith chanting ceremony, near the Hasalaka War Hero’s memorial, followed by an alms-giving, the following morning.
Corporal Kularatne, who was a monk before joining the army, was a survivor of the Aranthalawa Massacre on 2 June 1987 where the LTTE terrorists massacred 33 Buddhist monks.
Corporal Kularatne was the first recipient of the Parama Weera Vibhushanaya, the highest award for gallantry awarded by the Sri Lanka Army.