By Ranjith Soysa

The great noble soldier and a gallant leader of defense forces , the Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa became a victim of a land mine  26 years ago on 8th August 1992 in Araly Point while planning an offensive operation Balavegaya.

 Though one lamp lights a hundred lamps The brightness of the first never dims ,,,”(subahasitaya)

He was selected as an officer cadet of the Army at the age of 20 years and proceeded to Sandhurst Military Academy for further training.He was a senior member of the Ta FAII operations which was combating illegal migrants from India, In mid 1980s he was promoted as a Brigadier and assumed duties at the Army HQ, Later ,He became on of the most important strategist in countering the LTTE terrorism His fight against the LTTE commenced when he successfully cleared the Eastern region and halted the expansion of the LTTE. Then he was moved to Jaffna where he skilfully managed the Operation Liberation also popularly known as Vadamarachchi Operation. The operation had 8000 armed personnel with 3 brigades and commenced in May 1987. After clearing a large area of land and when the forces were on the verge of capturing the LTTE chief Prabahkaran India invaded Sri Lankan skies and the President J.R.Jayawradene terminated the Vadamarchchi operations providing space for the LTTE to subsequently to re-gather and revamp its killing machine,

Among the other notable operations carried out under the valiant leadership of Major General Denzil Kobbekaduwa were Operation Gajasinghe and Operation Balvegaya

He was well loved by the uniformed  men and women as he had the time to look after the welfare of the cadres and into their grievances. He addressed his cadres Putha and Duwa which elicited utmost companionship among the fellow soldiers. He always exerted his efforts to win the hearts and minds of the people who were liberated from the enemy and very often skillfully dragged the war front away from the centers  of population to minimize the dangers to the civilians. He actively  involved himself with the civil co-ordinators in fulfilling the expectations of the ordinary citizens with regard to the provision of food, health requirements, transport and educational needs while helping to improve the irrigation facilities and roads.He was posthumously promoted to the Lt General rank and awarded the Visista Seva Vibhusnaya and Rana Sura medals.

As we now witness the separatist forces slowly gathering strength in the North and moving to and from the former LTTE strongholds the bombs and other arms , we are compelled to think of the principled leaders of the armed forces like late Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa who can save our Nation

When the sun rises ,by its magnificent rays,
The dense darkness of the world gets dispelled,but only during the day,
The deep sorrows of darkness both internal and external
Vanish at the mere sight of a noble leader ,equally during day and night
(subahasitaya )

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