10th February 2018 11:54:34 Hours
Staff Sergeant Thurairatnam (Rtd) of the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE), whose ‘life became the Army or vice versa’ during his distinguished career of 22 years, bade farewell in a military funeral Wednesday (7) evening at the General Cemetery, Vallalai, Jaffna amidst a mammoth gathering of his relatives, military comrades including the Colonel Commandant of SLE.
Jaffna- based Staff Sergeant Thurairatnam (Rtd) passed away on 3 February 2018 at the age of eighty. He joined then Ceylon Army on 08 November 1957 and was posted to the 1 Field Squadron of Ceylon Engineers. After completion of 22 years of dedicated service in the Sri Lanka Army, he retired from the service on 08 November 1979.
The Colonel Commandant of the SLE, Major General Darshana Hettiarrachchi who is also the Commander, Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J), together with a group of Senior Officers on Wednesday (7) went to the house of mourning and paid their last respect to the remains of late Staff Sergeant Thurairatnam (Rtd) at Vallalai, Jaffna.
Moreover, the Colonel Commandant, SLE, Major General Darshana Hettiarrachchi expressed his deep sorrow and condolences to the family members and close relatives during the funeral ceremony.
Troops of 10 Field Engineer Regiment (SLE) in accordance with military traditions during the funeral procession received the remains, presenting arms around Vallalei junction before being taken in the hearse. As the funeral procession reached the cemetery, a representative gathering of fellow-soldiers formally, took charge of the coffin.
Late Staff Sergeant Thurairatnam’s coffin draped in the National flag afterwards began to inch its way towards the pyre as all gathered at the main entrance, lined up behind the coffin.
The formal Special Part I Order was then read out to the military mourners as the occasion turned solemn. The troops in conformity with military formalities then saluted the departed one presenting symbolic salute, the highest tribute a soldier, could get in the event of his demise.
Minutes after the Last Post, the bugle call that sounded, indicating that the dedicated soldier has gone to his final rest, the remains were taken to the cremation as everyone stood in respect.
Second after that, Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi, Commander, SF-J presented the bereaved family with the decorations and medals Staff Sergeant Thurairatnam (Rtd) had earned.
The military segment of the funeral of late Staff Sergeant Thurairatnam (Rtd) was meticulously organized under the direct supervision of Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi, Commander, SF-J and the Colonel Commandant, SLE.
The incumbent Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, when he was serving as the Jaffna Commander founded the Ex-servicemen’s association in the peninsula with the objective of taking care of welfare of those service men. As a result he introduced military formalities in the event of their deaths as military honours.