War Hero moves forward on determined quest | Sunday Observer

War Hero moves forward on determined quest

Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake   gifts Cpl. Karunarathna a wheel chair
Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake gifts Cpl. Karunarathna a wheel chair

Corporal Gemunu Karunarathna of the 6th Gajaba Regiment (GR) is determined to reach Point Pedro from Point Dondra in the South on his wheel chair. Coinciding with the International Day of Disabled Persons - December, 3, he set off on his solitary expedition. The young soldier has lost both his legs but has an indomitable will to achieve his target.

By 8.00 am on Monday, the premises in front of the Dondra Sri Vishnu temple was filled with other wheelchair- bound army colleagues led by Corporal Karunarathna on his racing wheelchair. His adventurous expedition is set to cover 576 km in 8 days. Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake was there as the Chief Guest to greet him and flag off his expedition at the invitation of Major General Shavendra Silva, Adjutant General and Colonel of the Regiment, GR and Major General S.K Thirunavukarasu, Director General Rehabilitation who was instrumental in launching the project.The Commander signalled the launch of this expedition.

Lieutenant General Senanayake displayed his fatherly warmth to the disabled war hero and hugged Corporal Karunarathna, encouraging him. Earlier, the Commander of the Army at a cost of Rs 8 lakhs, gifted the wheel chair to the aspiring young soldier. In his brief address of greeting, the Commander hailed Corporal Karunarathna’s perseverance and his determined will to undertake an adventure of exceptional nature on this International Day of Disabled Persons. Corporal Karunarathna who lost both his legs while fighting against terrorists in Puthukkudiyirippu during the final phase of the Humanitarian Operations on 7 May 2009 never wavered in his determination to succeed in life and continuously achieved significant gain in Regiment-organised wheelchair sports tournaments. Later, he enrolled at the Abimansala-3, Pangolla for recuperation and rehabilitation. In 2014 he got married and became the father of a child. Corporal Karunarathna who had participated in the Army Para Games representing the Gajaba Regiment sports team has won several wheelchair competitions, including a 22-km long marathon at Eheliyagoda in 2016. Between the years 2011 - 2016 he has actively taken part in wheelchair events.

 

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