20th May 2022 12:38:13 Hours
UNDYING memories and gallantry of heroic War Heroes who made the supreme sacrifice while defending the motherland were revered, admired and honoured once again this morning (19) in a simple state ceremony at Sri Jayawardenepura War Heroes’ Monument (Ranaviru Smarakaya) during a solemn ceremony, dignified by the presence of HE the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest, together with Secretary Defence, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Secretary to Ministry of Public Security, Major General (Retd) Jagath Alwis, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva, Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Air Force Commander, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, Inspector General of Police, C.D Wickramaratne, Major General (Retd) Ranjan Lamahewage , Director General, Civil Security Department, Major General (Retd) Nandana Senadeera, Chairman, Ranaviru Seva Authority and representative tri-service officers and Civil Security Department officials.
During this ceremony, fallen heroic War Heroes of the Army (23,962), Navy (1160), Air Force (443), 2598 Policemen and 456 Civil Security Department personnel, altogether a total of 28,619 who had made the supreme sacrifice in the fight against ruthless LTTE terrorism before May 2009 were respectfully called to eternal memory for their valour, gallantry, selfless dedication and invaluable sacrifices offering floral tributes. The early morning ceremony began with recital of the National anthem and the customary two-minute silence in honour of their memory, reading of the citation for bravery and vigil mounting, etc.
Bringing the day’s event to a climax, the day’s Chief Guest, HE the President was invited at first to lay a floral wreath at the foot of the monument and salute their memory before the Secretary Defence, Secretary to Ministry of Public Security, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders, Inspector General of Police, Chairman, Rana Viru Seva Authority, Director General, Civil Security Department, several family members, representative family members of fallen War Heroes and others, joined in succession to offer floral tributes to the Monument.
The sounding of the Last Post and Reveille in conformity with military traditions brought the day’s formal ceremony, a feature typical during military ceremonies, to end. This year’s 13th National War Heroes’ Day commemoration ceremony, organized by the Ranaviru Seva Authority in coordination with the Ministry of Defence and the Army Headquarters began sharp at 7.30 a.m. upon arrival of the Chief Guest.
It has been 13 years since the brutal cycle of LTTE terrorism ended as the dusk fell on May 18, 2009 while all Sri Lankans remained impatiently glued to the electronic media to hear the fate that befell the terrorist leader, Prabhakaran, the megalomaniac mass murderer in contemporary Sri Lanka. Rolling waters in Nandikadal lagoon where troops struck the last nail on the utopian Eelam coffin will continue to reverberate the voices of besieged civilians under the jackboot of the world's most ruthless terrorist leader who held a country to ransom for more than 30 years but tears would continue to roll down along the cheeks of surviving victims of LTTE terrorism, next of kin of hundreds of thousands of slain dear ones and family members of fearless War Heroes who eradicated the fear psychosis among the public without leaving it for the next generation.