Military Wiki
Gemunu Watch
Cap badge of the Gemunu Watch
Active December 7, 1962 - present
Country Sri Lanka
Branch Sri Lanka Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Infantry
Size 26 battalions
Regimental Centre Kuruwita Army Camp, Ratnapura.
Motto(s) “Maniwatta Abhikkama”-Pali (Do not tarry, Go forward)
Anniversaries December 7 (Regimental day)
Engagements 1971 JVP Insurrection,
Sri Lankan Civil War
Centre Commandant Brigadier M.A.S.K Muhandiram
Colonel of
the Regiment
Maj Gen L.B.R Mark RSP, USP
Lt Gen Parami Kulatunga RSP, USP, GW
Brig. John F. Halangode

The Gemunu Watch (GW) ("King Dutugemunu's Own") was formed with troops from the Ceylon Light Infantry and the Ceylon Sinha Regiment in 1962. It has been deployed in many major operations against the LTTE. It is made up of 9 regular units and 4 volunteer units. Headquartered at Kuruwita Army Camp, Ratnapura. It is named after one of the most famous Lankan Kings, King Dutugemunu.


The regiment was formed on December 7, 1962, in Diyatalawa at HMCyS Rangalla (former HMS Uva Camp) that had been used as a holiday station by the Royal Navy prier to its transfer to the Royal Ceylon Navy. The regiment was formed as part of the reorganization of the army and rest of the armed services following the attempted military coup early that year, Troops from the 1st battalions of the CLI and CSR formed the core of the new regiment with World War II veteran Lt. Col. (later Brigadier) J.F. Halangode as Commanding Officer. It was the third infantry regiment of the army.

Shortly 2 volunteer units ever formed the 2nd (V) Gemunu Watch in Galle and the 3rd(V) Gemunu Watch in Matara. These were made up of troops form the Ruhunu Regiment that was disband in 1956 and supplemented by officers of the CSR, who had established a new voluntee unit as the 1st Battalion Gemunu Regiment.

Soon after it was deployed in Mannar sector on TAFII (Task Force Anti-Illicit Immigration) duties in early 1963 and later in the Jaffna sector too.

During the 1971 JVP Insurrection the 1st Gemunu Watch was the first unit to be deployed to counter it in Wellawaya, while the volunteer units were deployed in counter-insurgency operations in Galle and Matara.

The regiment was awarded President's and Regimental Colours by H.E. President J.R. Jayawardena on August 15, 1980, in Galle.

Gemunu Watch units played a pivotal role in the Sri Lankan Civil War. Notably during the Vadamarachchi Operation in 1987 when the 1st Gemunu Watch was a part of the 1st Brigade group that lead the way during the operation. In July 1991, 5th and 6th Gemunu Watch were part of the two Brigades that carried out an amphibious landing during Operation Balavegaya to break the siege of Elephant Pass by the LTTE terrorists. In July 1995 4th Gemunu Watch defeated an LTTE attack on a Weli-oya settlement in the North-East of Sri Lanka, killing over 350 LTTE cadres.

In October 1995 Operation Riviresa was launched to liberate the Jaffna peninsular where the 7th Gemunu Watch played a major role in the recapture of Jaffna Fort, Chavakachcheri, Point Pedro and VVT. In all 1GW, 5GW, 6GW, 8GW and 9GW were involved in the Operation Riviresa. 6GW, 7GW and 9GW were involved in the Operation Sathjaya and GW, 4GW, 5GW, 8GW and 11 GW tool part in the Operation Jayasikurui. Many Gemunu Watch units were involved in the operations in the East and Wanni regions during the last stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2007 and 2008.


Regular army

  • 1st Gemunu Watch
  • 4th Gemunu Watch
  • 5th Gemunu Watch
  • 6th Gemunu Watch
  • 7th Gemunu Watch
  • 8th Gemunu Watch
  • 9th Gemunu Watch
  • 11th Gemunu Watch
  • 12th Gemunu Watch
  • 17th Gemunu Watch
  • 18th gemunu Watch
  • 19th Gemunu watch
  • 23rd gemunu watch
  • 24th bn the gemunu watch
  • HQ BN Gemunu Watch


  • 2nd(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 3rd(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 10th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 14th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 15th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 16th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 20th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 21st(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 22nd(v) Gemunu Watch

Notable members

Order of precedence

Preceded by
Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Gajaba Regiment

See also

External links and sources


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