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President Ranil Wickremesinghe graces 14th National War Heroes Day

May 20, 2023
  • Nation pays gratitude to its War Heroes remembering their sacrifices

 The 14th National War Heroes Commemoration Ceremony was held at the National War Hero Cenotaph at Sri Jayawardenepura in Kotte, graced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Hon. President Ranil Wickremesinghe, today (May 19).

National War Heroes Day is celebrated on May 19 every year to honour the valour of the war heroes of the Sri Lankan Tri Forces and their selfless service towards safeguarding the nation and its people from the clutches of terrorism. This national event is commemorated every year, recalling the supreme sacrifices made by the brave war heroes to safeguard the freedom and territorial integrity of the motherland and usher in an era of peace and unity.

The armed forces of Sri Lanka convincingly defeated the LTTE terrorist group that had brought untold misery, pain, and destruction to life, limb, and property and brought peace to the country on May 18, 2009, ending a brutal war that prevailed for over three decades. A total of 28,619 heroes from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, and Civil Security Department (CSD) sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the motherland, while over twenty-seven thousand war heroes were rendered disabled.

A moment of silence to remember the War Heroes was observed at the beginning of the day’s proceedings.

President Wickremesinghe laid floral tributes at the War Memorial and paid respects to the War Heroes during the ceremony held in keeping with military tradition. This was followed by other dignitaries making floral tributes.

The services of the War Heroes who fought to defeat terrorism were lauded, while those present, including the families of the fallen War Heroes remembered them with pride and gratitude.

The Ranaviru Seva Authority (RSA), the state agency entrusted with looking after the welfare of War Heroes and War Hero families had made elaborate arrangements to organize the War Heroes Day ceremony.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Public Security Tiran Alas, State Minister of Defence Premita Bandara Thennakoon, other ministers, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Defence Secretary, Commanders of the three armed forces, Inspector General of Police, Director General of Civil Security Department, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and former commanders of the armed forces, war heroes, and members of war heroes’ families all paid their respects to the fallen soldiers by laying flowers at the War Heroes Memorial.

The nation enters into yet another year of peace, unity and renewed hope since the terrorist war ended on a day like today in May 2009. Let us all work together in unison and determination to make our motherland great.