May 19, 2020
Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said the Government, under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, would not allow any force to become a threat to the national security.
“We will ensure by all means that lasting peace will prevail in Sri Lanka for our future generation to enjoy dividends of hard earned peace through immense sacrifices made by our war heroes,” he said issuing a message to commemorate the ‘Victory Day’, today (May 19).
He said since ending the 30-year long terrorism in May 19, 2009, the Tri-Forces, Police and the Civil Security Department had maintained a sustainable peace in the country without a single act of terrorism until the unfortunate Easter Sunday bomb blasts struck the country, last year.
“Over 29,000 brave men from our Tri-forces, Police and the Civil Security Department had to sacrifice their lives, over 60,000 security personnel sustained severe injuries while over 14,000 war heroes are confined to wheel chairs and beds suffering from lifelong injuries on their long march to bring victory to the nation,” the Defence Secretary said.
Recalling the sacrifices made by the soldiers, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne, who commanded Army’s 53 Division during the final battle to annihilate the LTTE, said during the last phase of the Wanni humanitarian operation which lasted for nearly 2 years and 10 months, nearly 5,900 Army soldiers sacrificed their lives and over 29,000 became disabled and are living with serious injuries.
“Not only Army soldiers but also sailors, airmen, Police cops and soldiers of the Civil Security Department lost their lives and sustained, severe injuries and have sacrificed their yesterdays to bring peace to the country,” he said adding that as a nation all Sri Lankans need to pay gratitude to them and remember them on the ‘Victory Day', which falls today.
He said the country owed the war heroes for their sacrifices made for us to enjoy a peaceful future.
“We never achieved peace on a platter but through immense dedication and sacrifices made by soldiers who lost their lives and limbs to safeguard the nation from the three-decades long terrorism,” he said commending the support given by parents, who gave their children to fight and wives, children and the villagers who had given their fullest support and encouragement for the soldiers to fight to sweep terrorism from Sri Lanka.
Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said he and other war heroes, who fought against terrorism, had sacrificed their youth to liberate the country for the next generation to live peacefully.
“Now it is the turn of the country’s youth to be educated and become responsible citizen to contribute their share for the development of Sri Lanka,” he said.