May 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka today marked the second anniversary of the military victory against the Tamil Tiger terrorism that plagued the country for thirty years with a grand ceremony.
The victory celebrations presided by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa were held at the Galle Face sea front promenade in Colombo with the participation of the armed forces commanders, Defence Secretary, government ministers and other political leaders.
An extravagant military parade displayed over 9,000 troops from the three armed forces, the police, and the Civil Defence Force representing their units. A large number of military vehicles including armed personnel carriers, Sri Lanka Navy ships in the sea, and fighter jets also joined the parade.
Addressing the gathering, the President paid tribute to the war heroes and said that the nation is with them in the past and at present.
“We hoist the National Flag with pride after defeating the most ruthless terrorist group in the world,” he said adding that today all communities could live in unity and pride and there was no room left to hold the people as hostages.
“We have displayed to the world on how to protect and value human rights during our humanitarian operation to defeat terrorism,” the President noted.
“Human Rights cannot be guaranteed only by including it in the Constitution, people will have to be liberated in order to enjoy it,” he pointed out.
“Our war heroes are not invaders but protectors of the Nation. We have not violated humanitarian or democratic rights of the people in the North and East. We will not act according to the needs of racists nor separatists, the President vowed.
Reminding all political parties that inciting racial hatred will not serve any purpose, the President asserted that the nation can solve its own problems when united.
“We were able to protect the country by invaders as we were united as one nation,” he remarked.
Reminding how the soldiers distributed food and water to the fleeing civilians during the humanitarian operation, President Rajapaksa said the soldiers while carrying a gun on the shoulder they had food for the civilians and carried them in their hands to safety.
“We were the only nation who offered food and medicine to the terrorists who fought against us. We should be proud of our humanitarian mission,” the President noted.
He said the government did not limit the war heroes to the barracks but instead engaged them for the development of the nation.
“The war heroes who shed blood in the past will now help develop the nation,” he pronounced.