The victory achieved by the humanitarian operation at the expense of thousands of lives, will never be betrayed for any reason, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said in Parliament yesterday (18).
Prime Minister Rajapaksa also said that the war victory is not an achievement of just one group but of the whole nation.
The Prime Minister made this observation making a special statement marking the National War Heroes Commemoration day which falls on May 19.
PM Rajapaksa said:, “Today marks the twelfth year since we wiped out 30 years of terrorism from this earth. I remember very well on May 18, 2009 how the people of this whole country took to the streets carrying the National Flag and expressed their happiness. That victory was not a victory achieved by only one part of the country. We have released more than 400,000 hostages used by the terrorists as human shields.We have ended the era in which our people in the North and East were displaced as refugees, having to leave their homes, packing their belongings and trying to survive on their own. We gave the people of the East, who had lived in refugee camps for about 20 years, the opportunity to return to their homes and live with dignity. There were villages in the North and East where people lived in hiding thinking that at some point they would be shot and their children would be picked up and beaten to death on the ground. Those people who were in border villages lived in fear of death constantly. Some areas were completely inaccessible due to land mines. Roadblocks, high security zones were everywhere. Today is the glorious day when all these were eradicated from this country and a free country was established, all free from the fear of death.”
PM Rajapaksa pointed out that, “This victory belongs to the people of the North and the East as they can now build a country without dragging their daughters and sons into war. This victory belongs to all religions as there are no bombs exploding near the Sri Maha Bodhi, the Temple of the Tooth, the Kattankudy Church and the Madhu Church. This victory belongs to all people as the era of guarding school gates for their children is over. Not only that, but this victory is a great conquest for this House. The LTTE terrorists were the first to kill political representatives. A large number of public representatives such as Dorai Appa, Amirthalingam to Sam Thambimuttu lost their lives. R. Premadasa, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, D.M.Dasanayaka, C.V.Gunarathne were killed by the LTTE. The people’s representatives were targeted incessantly. Death was hovering over this Chamber. I must say that we destroyed the LTTE and eradicated the fear of death in this House of democracy. Therefore, this victory should not be underestimated by anyone in this House.”
The Premier also said, “It is because of this victory that local government, provincial council and parliamentary elections in the North could be held freely now. During that time, it was not possible for the public representatives of the North and East to come to this House or to walk in their villages and express their free political views. Thousands of lives and limbs were sacrificed for this victory.”
Prime Minister Rajapaksa observed, “No one who went to war went there to commit genocide. Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda and former Air Force Commander Roshan Goonetilleke did not lead their forces to commit genocide. They fought with a group of barbarians who fought behind the backs of innocent children, parents and frightened people in the North. Our aim was to rescue that human turned shields and fight against the terrorists. That is a difficult challenge for military leaders, however they did it.
The greatest war heroes were the children of the common people of this country. We turned village guards into civil security officers. We turned the soldiers into war heroes. Separate hospitals were built for them. Separate schools were built. They were deployed in world diplomatic services. Appointed to high posts in the public service. Wages, allowances, compensation all improved their status.