COLOMBO (NewsRadio); Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage says the eradication of the LTTE terrorism unified the nation and enabled all to live in peace in the country.
Issuing message to mark the War Heroes’ Day, Army Commander General Vikum Liyanage said people across the country during the three-decade of war underwent untold difficulties, hardships and indescribable sufferings and shouldered the impact of the brutal war at all fronts.
The Army Commander said therefore he believes all Sri Lankans will continue to remember with deep respect the noble dedication and commitment, largely contributed by Army war heroes for the defence of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty by defeating the LTTE.
The full statement of Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage;
“Fourteen years have been completed since the LTTE terrorism that posed a threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country for more than three decades was crushed on 18 May 2009.
It is with pride and dignity as the Commander of the Army, I issue this message on this ‘Victory Day’ which brought peace and saw the completion of terrorism that caused enormous hardships to the people of the country.
People during the three-decade of terrorism underwent untold difficulties, hardships and indescribable sufferings and shouldered the impact of the brutal war at all fronts.
Although consecutive governments attempted to resolve issues by arranging ceasefires and peace talks, those gestures did not materialize, and subsequently armed forces of the country were compelled to safeguard the Nation at all costs as terrorists unilaterally and arbitrarily abandoned such efforts.
After abrupt closure of the Mavil Aru sluice gates on 26 July 2006 which cut off water supply to thousands of innocent civilians and their farmlands showed their brutality and marked a milestone in the eradication of terrorism.
After this episode, troops were compelled to relieve affected people of this difficulty by launching the East Humanitarian Operation which joins history as a turning point.
The next target was to clear Wanni areas of terrorism by launching Wanni Humanitarian Operations. Through Wanni Humanitarian Operation, the Sri Lanka Army liberated the country from the remaining land patch under the LTTE’s control in Sri Lanka on 18 May 2009.
The main purpose to launch Wanni Humanitarian Operation was to rescue Tamil hostages who had been forcibly kept as a human shield by LTTE terrorists, and finally the Sri Lanka Army was able to rescue those innocent civilians by marking a milestone in the annals of the country’s history and drawing the attention of the whole world.
The national leadership which guided to achieve this victory through the collective efforts of the tri-service Commanders, Chiefs in defence establishments and patriotic senior and junior commanders who were commanding at that time and many brave soldiers who underwent numerous hardships, some being confined to dense jungles in the battlefield, deserve praise and appreciation, and is recalled with respect and admiration.
At the same time, I believe all Sri Lankans would continue to remember forever with deep respect the noble dedication and commitment, largely contributed by Army War Heroes for defence of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty after defeating the LTTE.
On this historic day, let me gratefully recall the memory of fallen War Heroes, wounded War Heroes, civil staffers and all others who fell victim to terrorism with deep respect and gratitude while sacrificing their valuable youth and lives and also by undergoing numerous hardships during the period before May 2009.
Sri Lanka Army plays a leading role in safeguarding the interests of the country and the nation at all times. During eradication of terrorism, disaster relief, and Covid-19 epidemic control, the Army in various capacities, regardless of the risks to their own lives came to your rescue and assistance.
It is no secret that the Army has unhesitatingly contributed to the development of the country, economic development and public welfare of the country as well.
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for the restraint and understanding you as patient and disciplined soldiers, showed towards restoration of law and order in the country during most trying times. I also emphasize that our primary responsibility as the Security Forces in the country is to create the necessary environment for all of us to live in peace while protecting the property and lives of the State and her citizens.
Several more welfare projects are expected to be launched for the benefit of all serving and retired Army personnel who are held in high esteem as “Defenders of the Nation” including members of the civil staff.
I would take necessary steps to initiate preliminary arrangements to streamline and re-structure the organization, operational deployment and concept of operation of the Army to be in line with the possible challenges in the future.
I maintain that you, the disciplined War Heroes of the Army who have come forward to face every challenge, will continue to safeguard the freedom that was given to our motherland thirteen years ago, and would continue to fulfill the national responsibilities entrusted to you in the years to come too.
Finally, I wish you the strength, courage and blessings to fulfill all the responsibilities of the Armed Forces in this challenging period of our motherland and seek help to maintain law and order in the country, and safeguard lives, public and private property.
May Triple Gem bless you! “