A bloody day painted by the LTTE | Daily News

A bloody day painted by the LTTE

Minister C.V. Gunaratne’s 22nd Death Anniversary:

A suicide bomber shattered Sri Lanka’s first-ever War Heroes day, killing C.V. Gunaratne, a Cabinet Minister and 20 other people on June 7th 2000 during a fundraiser for the families of slain War Heroes.

Minister for Industrial Development C.V. Gunaratne was assassinated as he walked among supporters in Ratmalana. He was the first member of the then Government assassinated by the LTTE.

Sri Lankans born at that time are now 22-years-old. It is important for every single Sri Lankan to learn the dark history of our country which was ended on May 18th in 2009 by our heroic Armed Forces.

Minister Gunaratne, the bomber, and 20 other people were killed during that LTTE suicide bomb attack. The Minister’s wife was among seven people seriously injured while 53 others were admitted to the Colombo South Teaching Hospital (Kalubowila). Survivors told the media at that time that the bomber had hopped out of a taxi and greeted the Minister before detonating the bomb at an intersection. The suicide attack was similar to past attacks by the LTTE.

By that time the LTTE had a suicide unit consisting a large number of bombers who exploded themselves targeting VIPs, vehicles and camps belong to the Armed Forces etc. Those suicide bomb attacks killed several innocent poor civilians who were close to their targets. The civilians were ordinary people who visited over populated places, office workers, schoolchildren, etc.

War Heroes day

It was a day that was specially meant to pay tribute to the War Heroes battling to maintain the territorial integrity of the country by that time. The War Heroes day was declared to boost the morale of the heroic Armed Forces who fought against the LTTE terrorists. The LTTE cadres killed innocent poor people, especially the elderly, sick, disabled, pregnant mothers, infants, children and whoever caught by them.

Before the bombing, all traffic in Colombo stopped and people were told to observe two minutes silence by the Government. Moments later the suicide bomb went off killing Minister Gunaratne and others. The Government imposed curfew in the neighbourhood and two adjacent suburbs where the bombing took place.

The Army’s Rapid Deployment Force surrounded the area and searched for the suspects. The bomber’s severed head and scattered limbs were found. The gender of the bomber could not immediately be determined. The disfigured head had close-cropped hair like a man, and there were trousers on the body. About half of the LTTE’s cadres were believed to be women, many recruited as child soldiers, and often women were used as suicide bombers. They were known to wear their hair short and sometimes dress like men.

Late Minister C. V. Gunaratne was educated at Royal College, Colombo where he was captain of the Rugby team. His father was Major L.V. Gunaratne, ED, CCC the first Mayor of Dehiwala - Mt Lavinia. He entered politics as a member of the Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Municipal Council in which he was Leader of the Opposition (Sri Lanka Freedom Party – SLFP). He was chosen as a Central Committee Member of the SLFP in early 1970s. C.V. Gunaratne entered Parliament at the Parliamentary General Election held in 1989.

Suicide bombers have assassinated thousands of innocent poor people belonging to all ethnicities and religions including the elderly, sick, disabled, pregnant mothers, infants etc, several high-ranking politicians.

The LTTE’s Black Tigers carried out the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was killed in 1991 using a prototype suicide vest and so was former President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s assassination in 1993.

Suicide bombing was a popular tactic of the LTTE between 1980 and 2000, the LTTE carried out 168 suicide attacks causing heavy damage to civilian, economic and military targets. The Sri Lankan economy and the Sri Lanka Army have been targeted on numerous occasions, including during a high-profile attack on Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in 2001 that caused damage to several commercial airliners and military jets. The LTTE was also responsible for a 1998 attack on the most sacred and revered Buddhist shrine and UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Sri Dalada Maligawa that killed eight devotees. The attack was symbolic as the Sri Dalada Maligawa is regarded as the holiest Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka. Other Buddhist shrines have been attacked, notably the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya and the Sambuddhaloka Temple in Colombo.

LTTE terror

The LTTE hacked to death a large number of civilians belonging to all ethnicities and religions who lived in the North and East. The villages were located adjoining the areas held by the LTTE. Those villages were called ‘Border Villages’. The people who lived in those Border Villages left their homes at night and spent the night in thick jungles and on tree tops for fear of LTTE attacks. But some such as the elderly, sick, disabled, infants, pregnant mothers etc. could not do it. The LTTE cadres came at night and hacked them to death. They died in a very painful way after suffering for hours without being able to get help from outside. Buddhist Bhikkus who lived in those border villages did not leave their temples because of the innocent poor people. They stayed back and faced the brutality of the LTTE while protecting people and priceless historical archeological sites which provided concrete proof to the real Sri Lankan history. The LTTE tried its best to fabricate a new Sri Lankan history in order to help their claim for the lands but the ancient historical archaeological sites stood against providing evidence for the true Sri Lankan history.

The LTTE’s brutal terrorism ended on May 18, 2009 by the heroic Armed Forces of Mother Lanka after sacrificing over 26,000 precious young lives. Several War Heroes became permanently disabled. The bloodshed by them in order to protect innocent poor Sri Lankan people and the Motherland was underestimated from 2015 to 2019. Some of them were imprisoned for saving the Motherland and the innocent people’s lives.

It is extremely important to teach the recent true and unbiased history (especially the true Sri Lankan history from 1948 to 2018) of Mother Lanka to our schoolchildren. Only the children who know the history of their Motherland will protect their country and heritage and no one will be able to mislead them in future.

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