An everlasting humanitarian mission | Daily News


 

An everlasting humanitarian mission

Present Army Commander Lieutenant  General Shavendra Silva, present Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne and a few other troop leaders during the humanitarian operation.
Present Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, present Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne and a few other troop leaders during the humanitarian operation.

For 30 long years, Sri Lankans suffered immensely at the hands of the world’s most ruthless terrorists who thought nothing of hacking civilians in their sleep or exploding suicide bombs that killed innocents.

It was our valiant Security Forces who were entrusted with the task of defeating this sinister band of terrorists and above all, liberating the masses whom they virtually held hostage. Hence, the Forces’ mission was not just defeating a brutal enemy but also freeing a subjugated people. Hence, it was called a humanitarian mission. And, the Forces succeeded in this objective 11 years ago. They tended to the needs of people rescued from the clutches of the LTTE in a moving display of their commitment to peace and humanity.

They extended this care to the captured and surrendered LTTE cadres. Nearly 12,000 of them were rehabilitated and absorbed to the society. In fact, when a senior Army officer who was in charge of the rehabilitation programme was transferred, the former LTTE cadres and their parents cried and begged the officer not to leave them. These pictures shown on television brought tears to all.

Once again, the heroic Security Forces members, along with the Police/ Special Task Force and Civil Defence Forces, are in the vanguard of protecting the nation from another enemy. This enemy is unseen, unheard, yet among our midst. They have risked their health to secure ours, just as they sacrificed their today to secure our tomorrow, 11 years ago. The entire nation will be indebted to their heroic deeds and compassionate mission that ended terrorism on this land. Today, they also have the challenge of eradicating all forms of extremism, as manifested in the Easter attacks, from this land. It is a task they have undertaken with utmost responsibility and professionalism. Here we look back at the events of May 2009 as the Nation pays a tribute to the War Heroes today.

Pictures by Rukmal Gamage

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