Nalanda Ranaviru Upahara, the longstanding war hero commemoration conducted by the Nalanda Junior Old Boys’ Association, marked its decade completion on the 2nd of August 2011 at the Nalanda College Premises. The annual commemoration launched during a period where negative sentiments towards the guardians of the island, the Sri Lankan armed forces, were growing from most quarters, continued uninterrupted through the victory of the humanitarian operation and continues to this date creating an indelible impression with its 10th consecutive instance.
Nalanda Ranaviru Upahara commenced with pinning the Ranaviru Flag on His Excellency the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, obtaining blessings and well wishes to move forward with the event, before the actual commemoration took place on the 2nd of August.
As the Nalanda Ranaviru Upahara tradition goes, floral tributes were paid to Nalanda war heroes who laid down their lives for the freedom of the motherland with military style honours, led by family members of demised war heroes. The principal of Nalanda, the senior most old Nalandians in the armed forces, office bearers of the Nalanda Junior Old Boys’ Association and other distinguished guests took part in paying honour to those Nalandians who made the ultimate sacrifice, at the Nalanda war memorial. The young students of Nalanda queued up to pay their respects with red anthuriums, with a hopeful glint in their eyes of emulating these heroes in some way.
Later the families of war heroes were hosted to a lunch at the Galle Face Hotel, with the highlight being the visit by the Secretary of Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is a gracious well wisher of the Nalanda Junior Old Boys’ Association especially in the felicitation of war heroes. Mr. Rajapaksa took the time to mingle with the families present, which was a fine gesture that was highly appreciated by all.
The war has ended and ten long years have passed for the Nalanda Ranaviru Upahara, but, the valiant soldiers defended the front lines and the motherland will never be forgotton as Nalanda Ranaviru Upahara steps in to a new era carrying memories that inspires all generations to come with gratitude.