Ananda's Victorious Hour
May 18, 2009 was a Red Letter Day for all Sri Lankans, regardless of
where they live in the world. It was the day that Sri Lankans heard the
news they had been waiting to hear for 30 long years. The valiant
Security Forces had defeated the LTTE, the most ruthless terrorist group
in the world and liberated thousands of civilians held hostage by brutal
terrorists. Above all, they brought every inch of land in Sri Lanka
under the National Flag. They protected the country's unitary status,
territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Anandians everywhere have every reason to be proud of this
unprecedented achievement, because it was Anandians who were in the
forefront of the campaign to defeat terrorism. Over the last 30 years,
hundreds of Anandians had laid down their precious lives for securing
freedom for the Motherland. Many others have been disabled. Their
efforts have not been in vain.
Today, we honour these brave sons of Ananda College who made it all
possible. This is a tribute to the heroic Anandians in the Security
Forces, Police and the Civil Security Force who answered the call of the
Nation to defeat terrorism from our soil.
It took 30 long years, but under the guidance of Commander-in-Chief
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa,
they achieved what many thought would be an almost impossible task.
It is not surprising that those who led the battle were mostly
Anandians. Every Anandian inherits that sense of love for their
Motherland from the very first moment he walks into the school as a new
student, in the smart white uniform.
They know that Ananda was a cradle for all patriots who fought for
freedom. It is a hallowed ground, trod by giants moulded by Buddhist
ideals and patriotic feelings. It is almost as if these feelings still
permeate the air at Ananda.
All students participate in the 'Mal Pooja' at the Viharaya. They
sing the National and School anthems before heading towards the
classrooms. At the school assembly, the Ven. Theras who teach at the
school deliver anusasanas that further develop one's sense of loyalty to
the Nation. 'Country before self' is an adage that rings true at Ananda.
Indeed, Ananda has produced many selfless patriots throughout its 123
years of existence. Many have held the top positions in their respective
fields here and abroad. But for many years, Anandians were denied the
right to enter the Armed Forces and the Police and serve their
Motherland. How this glaring anomaly was rectified is detailed elsewhere
in these pages.
Today, no other school can claim to have produced so many valiant
sons who entered the Armed Forces and the Police. And Ananda will
continue to produce brave sons whose loyalty to the Motherland will be
As peace beckons in a country ravaged by conflict for over 30 years,
there will be a bigger role for Anandians. But we should be forever
grateful to the Anandians and all others who made peace possible. We
shall always remember the immense sacrifices they have made on and off
the battlefield to secure this freedom for all Sri Lankans.