‘Victory at great sacrifice’
The National Flag flutters all over the country today and this was
the first time that I am addressing a public rally with thousands of
national flags displayed but we should remember that the freedom to
hoist the flag from Dondra Head to Point Pedro was given to us by
thousands of our valiant Armed Forces who had sacrificed their lives to
liberate the country.
We should also remember that the breath of the fallen war heroes are
blown on the national flag whenever and wherever we hoist it, President
Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his address to the mass rally held to
felicitate the valiant members of the armed forces yesterday. The rally
held at the Parliament ground, Kotte was a sea of heads with over
200,000 people present.
The victory we had won was not won on a bed of roses but at great and
supreme sacrifice of our valiant Armed Forces who sometimes did not get
the opportunity to change their uniforms for weeks, they fought in the
ditches, floods and had to destroy embankments over twelve feet or cross
lagoons but they did not give up till the final victory over the
terrorists was achieved and the country brought under the national flag,
In 1956 there were five forces or groups called the Pancha Maha
Balavegaya, Sanga, Veda, Guru,Govi, Kamkaru, but today we have another
force Ranaviru and today it had become the Shad Maha Balavegaya or six
forces, the President noted.
When the decision to defeat terrorism was made I had to face
obstacles of not only the terrorists and their supporters at home and
abroad and I had to debunk the myth that the terrorist group was an
invincible indomitable war machine.
However, the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya, commanders of the three
Armed Forces Sarath, Wasanth, Roshan and other senior defence officials
were towers of strength and all the members of the forces and the people
of the country stood behind the decision to defeat terrorism. It was due
to that conviction and cooperation that we were able to defeat the
terrorists, he said.
When we rejoice the victory of the armed forces we have to remember
that it was our duty to help and look after the families of the members
of the Armed Forces who had sacrificed their lives for the country.
It was not only duty to remember that we should provide everything
those families needed though we cannot give back the valiant men or
women who had given their lives for the Motherland.
We should protect the freedom they had won for us and the memorial
for the fallen members of the Forces in front of the Parliament was
erected there to remind the legislators about those heroic persons he
All people of the country loved this country but over a long period
that love was hidden or killed by certain elements who said that the
country should be divided and a portion given to the terrorist as
already an agreement to that effect had been signed.
But we had to make that difficult decision and we stood together with
the people who cooperated with us. Now we have won and the next
challenge before us to develop the country and I assure you that I will
fulfill that task just as I fulfilled the task of defeating terrorism.
But like during the humanitarian operations I need the cooperation of
the public, he noted
We have forgiven those sections who made all kinds of allegations
against us and threatened to drag us before international tribunals but
we started the effort to liberate the country prepared not only to go up
to one gallows but even to ten the President said to the cheering crowd.
He said even the international community who were opposed to the war
against terrorists were praising us today.
Now it was our turn to build our nation declaring war on corruption,
waste, drugs and other social evils by taking on the sharks who were
behind such evils.