The separatist terrorism, waged for 26 years by the LTTE could not be defeated even by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) comprising 100,000 soldiers but was defeated by our own heroic soldiers and as such, our intelligence services, soldiers and the police have the capability and resolve to wipe out religious extremist terrorism in the same manner, President Maithripala Sirisena said today.
President Sirisena added that parents, wives, children, brothers and sisters and other close relatives of war heroes who made the supreme sacrifice or lost their limbs and became disabled for life while fighting against separatist terrorists to save the country and nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence have shed a lot of tears and taken immense mental pains for the last 40 years.
Addressing the 10th state memorial service of war heroes under the theme ‘Uttama Pranama’ at the ‘War Heroes Monument’ at Parliament Grounds, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte last afternoon, President Sirisena said the nation would revisit the supreme sacrifices made by war heroes for 40 years today after obliterating separatist terrorism ten years ago with utmost gratitude, appreciation and with heart felt sorrow.
“I have determined that I will not let this happen once against to our motherland. I will never let religious extremists to put this country once again in that predicament. We have almost won the fight against religious fundamentalist terrorism. Our intelligence services, the STF and the Police have exposed and apprehended those who were involved. Our intelligence services, the STF and the Police have the determination and the strength to wipe out religious extremism from our soil,” President Sirisena stressed.
Thousands of war heroes who are still in the active service have always come forward to serve the nation when the motherland struck with any kind of threat, natural disaster or calamity or a challenge to her independence or national security. The country has confronted foreign invasions at many stages from the time of our kings because Sri Lanka is an island nation. Our heroic soldiers have successfully faced those challenges and saved motherland and the nation and therefore we have no doubt that they will do the same in future too if there was any threat to the country, he added.
Our heroic soldiers put an end to barbaric LTTE terrorism on May 19, 2009 for once and for all but after 10 years of peace and harmony there was an unexpected act of terrorism on April 21st Easter Sunday that claimed the lives of nearly 260 innocent lives including nearly 40 foreigners and wounded about 500. The main task of tackling and eliminating this new threat which has a foreign link lies in the hands of intelligence services.
“We cannot predict correctly as how and when the religious extremists strike. Even France, US or any European country could not say when and how they would come under attack from religious terrorism. However, with over 30 years of experience in intelligence gathering and battle hardened professionalism, I have no doubt that our war heroes can do it successfully,” President Sirisena emphasized.
President Sirisena paid tribute to parents and family members of fallen war heroes and disabled soldiers and said the nation would never ever forget the sacrifice they did for the motherland and added that All Sri Lankans are indebted to them for their sacrifices.
Welcome address was done by the chairmjan of the Ranaviru Seva Authority chairman, Major General (retired ) Janmika Liyanage.
Chancellor of the Sri Jayewardene University, Ven. Ittepane Dhammalankara Nayaka Thera, Shiva Sri K.V.K Vigeswara Kurukkal, Asheik M.M. Munupar and Father Piyalal Janaka Fernanado performed Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Catholic religious observances.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene, commanders of the Tri Forces and Police Chief were among a large gathering of the public, relatives or war heroes and public officials.(Sandun A Jayasekera)