20th January 2016 00:44:08 Hours
HE the President Maithripala Sirisena reassuring his commitment to the national security, sovereignty and protection of the unitary character of the country more than ever before, pooh-poohed baseless criticisms, being levelled against the government’s concerted efforts towards the prevention of a recurrence of another brutal war by defeating the LTTE’s ideology, although the War Heroes succeeded in defeating that brutality physically on May 18 in 2009.
In his address as the Chief Guest on Tuesday (19) during the ceremonial opening of Sri Lanka’s first-ever Hydrotherapy Pool, dedicated to invaluable sacrifices of 46 recuperating differently-able War Heroes by the Young Constructors Forum (YCF) at the Army-managed Attidiya rehabilitation and wellness resort, ‘Mihindu Seth Medura’ (MSM), President Sirisena reiterated that his government, is fully committed to strengthening of national security needs all the time and no one therefore should entertain any doubt about it.
“In order to prevent any recurrence of the LTTE’s ruthless war, we have to understand today’s responsibility that has befallen us in proper context and correct perspective, setting aside narrow-minded and unfounded viewpoints. We do not want to see our young ones, like those we saw now, sacrifice their precious lives and organs again. First and foremost, we should understand the fact that the LTTE ‘ideology’ is still not dead, and it is yet to be rooted out, though our young heroes physically defeated the LTTE's armed terrorism. That ideological process is still alive in the overseas. This is a challenge before us. We have to eliminate the LTTE’s ideology through many fronts, for example, at geo-political, scientific, social, economic and overseas levels. The government has fearlessly undertaken that challenge because the LTTE ideology has still not abandoned the notion of a separate country in Sri Lanka. In the post-war period in the past, nothing of that sort or any such moves were initiated with correct decisions and approaches. Only by doing so, we can create a just society where all can co-exist happily and peacefully without letting more and more bloodsheds as we have continuously witnessed for 26 years in our resplendent island,” President Sirisena underlined.
“Our opponents as well as some Media spread untrue and fabricated stories, saying that the government has been forced to pull out troops in the North and go on weakening existing security measures, etc. In some instances, they are even going to the extent of claiming that the government was being “pressurized” to curtail national security, for example. I must state here with precision that no foreign country or for that matter, any such leader, has to-date advocated any such notion, nor have any of them approached me or the government with such an agenda. For narrow political gains, such canards are spread by interested parties who do not like to appreciate our reconciliation or friendly approaches to all communities. Some, having fully realized the realities ahead of us, pretend that they do not understand our moves in this direction,” President added.
“We are adopting a very friendly approach to all our foreign friends. When I was at the UN sessions, I requested all our foreign friends to resume their conduct of training programmes for members of our armed forces as before. They have positively responded and are now engaged in extending that training expertise to us, our service personnel. We have now Chinese, Indian, Japanese warships, etc calling at Sri Lanka as symbols of their goodwill. Our foreign relations are blossoming and I am sure all the countries, like India, Pakistan, China, UK, USA would help our armed forces in their search for training expertise in the future as well,” President Sirisena remarked.
The social responsibility of nursing and caring these patriotic men lies with everyone while ensuring their physical and mental well-being during the remainder of their lives because it was they who brought peace to our country. We are grateful to them forever for it. Our salute and admiration for them remains yesterday, today and tomorrow, President Sirisena commented.
During the same occasion, President Sirisena also gave away legal documents and titles to 13 MSM inmates who received newly-built houses and some partly completed houses under the ongoing Army welfare project of house construction.
President Sirisena during the ceremony presented a special memento to Mr Roshan Madarasinghe, President, YCF in appreciation of his organization’s collective generosity, thoughtfulness and commitment towards the well-being and rehabilitation of disable War Heroes by constructing this long-needed Hydrotherapy Pool at a cost of Rs 15 million as a project of social responsibility.
At the same occasion, Mrs A. Dewapura, a lady philanthropist gifted a stock of accessories, worth of Rs 1 million to the MSM who was also given an appreciative token of memory by the President.
Towards the end, Colonel I.G.R.G Bogahawatte, Commandant, MSM presented a special memento to the President Sirisena for gracing the ceremony as the Chief Guest at the invitation of the Army.
Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary Defence delivered the welcome address and assured that the Ministry of Defence, is all the time prepared to support the well-being of disable War Heroes. A senior resident inmate spoke out his heart and underlined the importance of having a pool of this nature which is the one and only in Sri Lanka.
Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral R.C Wijegunaratne, Senior Officers of the Air Force and Police, Tri service officers, YCF members, Director Rehabilitation, distinguished invitees and family members of resident War Heroes attended the event, coloured by displays of water ballet by several inmates and a group of school students.
Minutes after the main event, the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva took time off to meet all representatives of the YCF individually and thanked them profusely for their excellent symbol of generosity as a team of budding professionals.
The 16.2m x 12.6m size state-of the-art pool has been designed with a slope with three different depths enabling disable soldiers to undergo therapies while being in their wheelchairs. Four physiotherapists and 20 patients can receive treatment at a time.