17-Aug-2016 23:32

This was also further evidenced when, Parami, the young stripling of five, was building temples, chaitiyas and stupas in mud and lovingly placing flowers before them with his childhood playmates.As he grew older, his fascination for chaithyas was replaced by a boy’s passion for sword fights.With his ideal torso and height, any rational thinking mortal might have perceived that he was a unanimous choice for a Lock Forward’s berth in a Rugby team and more so, the Lock Forward in Fullback, Rugby Lion and subsequent Sri Lanka Fullback Shafie Jainudeen’s unbeaten Trinity Rugby XV of 1969, but it was a tryst with destiny. He ended up as the Senior Regimental Sergeant Major of the Senior Cadet Platoon. Deeply perturbed by the goings on in the 1971 JVP insurgency which broke out on April 5, and buttressed by his passion for the military and patriotism, he enlisted in the Sri Lanka Army as an officer cadet on July 20, 1971.Early life Born on October 9, 1951 at Lewella, the remote suburban hamlet of Kandy to a family steeped in rich, conservative Kandyan traditions, his horoscope has said that he was destined to lead a very pious life.He was so named as Parami, as the astrologer said that he was going to lead an exemplary Buddhist life akin to a Bodhisatva, an aspiring Buddha.He will be remembered as a man with a heart by his peers and a grateful nation for the major roles he played in the Vedamarachchi operation in 1987 in the liberation of the Jaffna peninsula where he was a Junior Commanding Officer under the guidance of another slain General- Lt General Denzil Lakshman Kobbekaduwa and also the Operation Balavegaya I and II in 19 which saved Elephant Pass.

He was of the mould of the “Desert Fox” – General Erwin Rommel, one of Adolf Hitler’s two famous military Generals along with General Montgomery in World War II; bold, dashing and handsome, relentless in combat, magnanimous in victory and gracious to his vanquished enemies.For, slain Lieutenant General Parami Sugandika Bandara Kulatunga, VSV, RSP, USP, PBP, DPS, USAWC, GW, Sri Lanka Army’s former Deputy Chief of Staff and third most senior military General at the time of his assassination and whose fifth death anniversary falls today, will be remembered with both affection and reverential respect for the role that he played in the Northern theatre of war against the LTTE, among others, akin to Rommel playing a part in two very significant battles during World War II– both at El Alamein in North Africa and also at D-Day.