President arrives to hero’s welcome
Following a successful visit to Jordan, President Mahinda Rajapaksa
arrived in the country early yesterday morning, as the leader of a
nation that vanquished terrorism, with cheering crowds including
Government Ministers giving him a hero’s welcome at the Bandaranaike
A visibly moved President Rajapaksa, knelt down and kissed the earth,
no sooner he got down from the plane.
Later the President was seen, being hugged by many Cabinet Ministers
and other Government politicians, as thousands of National flag waving
people cheered him.
The loud noise of firecrackers emanated from the rest of the country,
as people throughout the island watched the President’s home coming live
on television, with the news of the LTTE’s imminent demise reaching them
in the early dawn.
Following the arrival, multi-religious ceremonies to bless the
President, Security Forces and the country in general was held at the
Airport premises attended by religious dignitaries of all faiths.
A common feature during brief speeches made by these religious
dignitaries, belonging to Buddhist, Christian, Islam and Hindu faiths,
were the call to the President to forge unity among all irrespective of
ethnic, religious or other differences to propel the country forward
following its victory over terrorism.
President Rajapaksa’s arrival at the Bandaranaike International
Airport early yesterday was made on a special flight from Jordan where
he cut his visit short, after attending the G-11 Summit and World
Economic Forum, to be in the country to mark the liberation of the
entire nation from the LTTE. Earlier, during his address to the G-11
Summit in Jordan, President Rajapaksa predicted that he would be
returning to a country that has been totally freed from the barbaric
acts of LTTE terrorism.
“This freedom comes after 30 long years,” he added. Most Ministers
were at the airport to welcome the President, who arrived amidst joyous
celebrations throughout the country to mark the end of the 30 year old
conflict as the Military announced that they had liberated all civilians
who had been held captive by the Tigers.