Hailing from Pallama, Madulana in Kurunegala district he joined SL army's Volunterr Force in 1991 at the age of 22 and he was subsequently attached to the 5th Gajaba Regement after his training stint in Diyathalawa Army base. During the course of his service he followed more than half a dozen courses including parachuting, a training stint by the Special Forces and advanced sniper instructor etc. In 2000 after completing 8th sniper course he joined SL army’s snipers. During 1V Eelam war he gave his maximum service in battles fought in Madu, Mannarama, Giraanikke ( Killinochchi), Alimankada (Elephanat Pass), Aluthkulissa (Puthukudirippu) and Mooladoova (Mullaitivu).
Though he was injured by recent fighting he again went to the front despite his wife’s insistence not to do so as he wanted to contribute his part at the victorious end of war by the forces. Having got to know his condition Col. Wanasinhe in Diyathalawa Army base invited him to be at Diyathalawa but he said to him “No sir, now the final battle going on there and I want to be there when the flag being hoisted after the final victory” .
Ranjith was at the forefront among the SL Army’s snipers discharging his duties with utmost dedication and displaying his exceptional skill as a brave soldier while being a sniper for 09 years and 18 years in the army. He was indeed a legendry in the army as many of his fellow brethren had been and still are.
He laid down his life when he was on duty when the civilians were escaping in thousands recently from the Tiger clutches. His killer was an LTTE terrorist who was posing as a civilian among them.
In recognition of his great service to the nation and his exceptional valor he had been conferred with gallantry awards such as Poorna Bhumi, Uthuru Negenhira Sangramicka award, 50 years independence medal, Army’s 50 years anniversary medal, Rivirasa operation medal and Desha Puthra medal. He leaves behind his wife and three children. Niro’s supreme sacrifice is certainly not in vain as his motherland will soon reap the fruits of sacrifices made by not only him but many of his fellow brethren.
Based on a feature article appeared in this Sunday's Rivira paper(03.05.09')(www.rivira.lk)
pix courtacy of Rivira.lk