Today was the big military parade in Colombo marking the victory over the LTTE last year. The parade was supposed to be last month but the torrential rains prevented it and supposedly four soldiers were killed by lightning while practicing. I can see this as the Galle Face Green is nothing but one big open field and if your standing out there in a thunderstorm with a rifle you're just asking for it.
All week we have watched the Sri Lankan navy patrol boats in front of the apartment do their maneuvers and the build up of arms display, tanks and such at the Galle Face Green and something we never experienced living here high speed fly buys of the Sri Lankan Air Force.
The government made today a bank holiday which pretty much is an excuse for any business to close. Couple this with closing the main street through Colombo thus making bus disrupting buses and you make for one quiet city this morning. Hardly anyone was at work.
Come the time for the big display my coworkers and I went out on the roof to watch the show.
First came the Russian built Hind helicopters, then the Navy boats of all sizes followed by turbo-prop plane fly overs (They had some really old planes) and eventually the jets did an afterburner fly over, quite loud.
Funny thing about the Navy is that they have a big troop carrier that has been used as a dinner cruise ship since the end of the war. I'm not kidding. They painted 'Visit Sri Lanka 2011' in big letters across the side, string lights on it and does sunset dinner cruises complete with the Navy band.
Well being that it's still pretty much the largest ship in the Sri Lankan Navy's inventory it did its part in the show, I thought it was funny that here it was being escorted by all of these gun boats and 'Visit Sri Lanka 2011' is painted across the side.
Story about the parade:
Story about the dinner cruise ship: