President expressed his gratitude to the soldiers who made the victory possible as well as the people who gave the support in many ways to this historical victory in the past two years.
Full text of Presidentís speech is given below:
Venerable Members of the Maha Sangha,
Members of the clergy of all other religions,
My dear friends, who represent all communities and religions in Sri Lanka.
You will recall that two weeks ago I told you from this very place that the New Year that will dawn will be the Year of Heroic Victory of our troops.
Today, on the second day of this heroic year, I am now ready to reveal to you the proud news of the most honourable victory in the annals of military heroism that runs through many centuries of our history.
Although the leader of the LTTE had said only a few days ago that the capture of Kilinochchi was only a dream of Mahinda Rajapaksa, in truth it was not my dream alone. It was the constant dream of all Sri Lankans, whether Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim, who are opposed to separatism, racism, and terrorism, and have always, sought peace, freedom and democracy. Today our heroic troops have made that dream a reality.
A short while ago, our brave and heroic troops have fully captured Kilinohchi that was considered the main bastion of the LTTE. Our have troops have completely taken over the fortress of the LTTE that has been described by our own leaders and accepted internationally as the most powerful terrorist organization in the world.
Whatever the words or language used to describe it, this is truly an incomparable victory. What our heroic troops have achieved is not only the capture of the great fortress of the LTTE, but a major victory in the world's battle against terrorism. The entire world must today appreciate the outstanding success of the Sri Lankan troops.
One must not belittle this victory as one that has been won by one community over another. It should not be interpreted as defeat of the North by the South. This is a victory for our entire nation and country. It is a decisive victory over savage terrorism that was playing around with the blood, muscle and sinews of humans. It is a victory over venomous separatism that sought to divide people on grounds of race and religion.
There were some who tried to present Kilinochchi as the capital of a separate state. We have seen in the recent past how this was believed not only by the international media but also by those engaged in diplomacy. No more is this capital of its dream separate state the property of the LTTE. The mandate given to me by the people in the Presidential Election of 2005 was to ensure that the entire country is governed under a single legal system. It was to affirm the unity of the country that had been divided through various agreements. We directed the Armed Forces and all defence agencies to implement that mandate given by the people. Today we see those expectations becoming a reality. 2009 has already increased our faith is the success of this achievement.
Our heroic troops have sacrificed much to achieve this extraordinary victory. They sacrificed their limbs, organs and lives for this noble task. Therefore, on this victorious occasion it is but right that we remain grateful to those heroic troops who have sacrificed so much for the country. On this historic occasion, as the Head of State, I extend the honour and gratitude of the entire nation to our heroic troops. Similarly, I bestow the honour and gratitude of the entire country on the Chief of Staff, Commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Inspector General of Police, the Secretary of Defence, and all commanding officers who gave leadership to this historic victory.
It is necessary to include all of the citizens of Sri Lanka as stakeholders in this great victory. History will record the manner in which you have rejected the many conspiracies that were launched to betray and prevent this victory, and assisted in this great task with true and honest love for the motherland. All of us have given the necessary leadership to this battle in our own way, fearless of the dangers to our lives.
Our motherland wants you to have this commitment and patience for a short while longer. I call upon you to continue with your commitment to the country until the final act of this false Eelam struggle is played to its finish in the small territory of jungle in Mullaitivu it is confined to today, and the LTTE is fully and finally defeated. I also wish to send a message; the final message to the LTTE, to lay down their arms and surrender.
The time is not very far when the people of the north who have been held hostage by the LTTE for several decades will be able to enjoy the freedom that is their right. As the Head of State of Sri Lanka I give you my pledge today, that not only shall we accept the responsibility to ensure your own security and freedom, but the future security and freedom of your children, too.
Let us all be committed to build one Sri Lankan nation that stands with dignity and pride under a single flag. Let us pledge to be a single nation in an undivided country. Our collective commitment will undoubtedly rise above all obstacles and challenges that may lie ahead.
May you be blessed by the Noble Triple Gem
May you receive the blessings of all Deities.