‘Defeating terrorism revived national pride’
The war heroes victory over terrorism is not only a defeat of LTTE
terrorism, but also an act of reviving the national pride among all the
citizens. This is also a unique achievement as a country, said Defence
Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
The Defence Secretary was speaking at the Ranaviru felicitation
ceremony held to honour Dharmaraja College war heroes at the Dharmaraja
College, Kandy, recently.
The Defence Secretary said the people’s pride had been eroded as a
result of the myth about the LTTE’s invisibility created by some local
and international forces.
Dharmaraja College was started 123 years ago and it has produced a
large number of useful citizens to the country. They include several
patriotic leaders who protected the nation.
The motto of this college was to produce citizens who can fight
against threats to the country. The services rendered by the old boys of
this college during the past three decades of war against terrorism
which plagued the country is unique, he said.
During the past three decades, we have lost not only precious lives,
but also enormous resources. Educated people left the country. Investors
didn’t dare to come to Sri Lanka. Economy also collapsed. Above all, we
also lost our national pride.
Everybody thought that the LTTE wouldn’t be defeated. We achieved
this victory by making a lot of sacrifice. We lost about 25,000 Forces
personnel. Similar number of persons became permanently disabled.
Instead of lighting crackers to celebrate this victory, we have to
celebrate this in a fruitful manner.
We must protect the freedom we gained, schoolchildren must make it a
point to sustain this victory. Then only we can get the true benefit of
this victory, the Defence Secretary said. Our soldiers also worked hard
for this victory. They joined the Forces despite continuous military
At this occasion, Major General B. W. Jayasundera, Major General M.
K. Jayawardene, Brigadier R. W. Ranaweera, D.I.G. Pujith Jayasundera,
SSP Daya Samaraweera, Air Force Squadron leaders S. K. Pathirana and M.
Mudagammana, Navy Rear Admiral R. W. Ilangakoon and Commandore S.
Dissanayake and several war heroes of the college were felicitated.