13th Victory Day

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Today marks the 13th Anniversary of the war victory over LTTE terrorism which lasted for three decades. A total of 28,619 war heroes from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Force sacrificed their lives to free the motherland from terrorism. More than 27,000 war heroes were disabled. Some war heroes are missing to date. Thirteen years ago, on 19 May 2009, the LTTE was defeated, lifting a curse that was on our country for nearly 30 years. 19 May is an important milestone in Sri Lanka’s history.

The atmosphere where people can travel freely without any restrictions to any place in the country was restored. Our war heroes and their families made immense sacrifices to usher in peace to the country which was engulfed in terror. Thanks to the exceptional sacrifices made by our war heroes, we have today the opportunity to live in peace and harmony in a unitary State.

Our country, nourished by Buddhist philosophy, possesses a form of administration that is an oasis for all religions and all nationalities. Throughout its history, people in this country including the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers have had equal rights. The honour of liberating the country from this catastrophe should be given to all our heroic troops who fought for peace for a long time. We remember with immense gratitude, all the war heroes including General Kobbekaduwa and General Vijaya Wimalaratne who fought for this victory for more than 3 decades and sacrificed their lives for the country.

Even though 13 years have passed since the conclusion of the humanitarian operation and the eradication of terrorism, the consequences are still long felt. In addition to operations related to the security of the country, the Army has embarked on nation-building programmes, expediting development projects augmented by the Government and through that, saving a considerable amount of funds. The Army’s contribution to nation-building is not limited to a specific field. It spreads far and wide. Schools, religious education establishments, health institutes, religious places, drama theatres, sports and cultural centres, archaeological sites, land and houses, tanks and irrigation development are among some of the areas the Army has been involved.

As a country, we relentlessly worked to overcome new challenges. When Covid-19 threatened the world, our country successfully controlled the pandemic setting an example to the region and all other countries as well. From the very outset, the Army in collaboration with sister services and health professionals engaged in a remarkably challenging task of netting, screening, transporting, housing and quarantining, vulnerable individuals as well as infected ones in respective quarantine centres and hospitals, tackling this alarming outbreak successfully. 

The multifaceted and multi-purpose, ‘Thuru Mithuru-Nawa Ratak’ project conceptualised by the Army Chief himself for enhancement of a greener environment, free from pollutants is another islandwide drive which is now in full swing at all Army SFHQs levels. Beautification of roadsides with rare plants, re-cultivation of unattended paddy fields, etc, reforestation of national reserves, planting of fruit saplings, distribution of saplings and seeds among civilians, and conduct of instructional courses on agriculture for civilians, are among a few worth mentioning.

As heroic members of the Army, who rooted out the LTTE terrorism from the soil, we as those who would protect the lives of our citizenry should dedicate ourselves to fulfilling those responsibilities as brave members of the present Army.

(Army Media)