May 18, Colombo: The best tribute to fallen war heroes is not to allow any room for a recurrence of any war, the Commander of Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said on the 10th anniversary of the war victory against Tamil Tiger terrorists.
"The best tribute we can pay to the memory of fallen War Heroes is to ensure that no more space be made available for recurrence of any sort of violence or war while serving as a disciplined and professional soldier and protecting the territorial integrity and day-to-day life of the people irrespective of any differences," the Army Commander said.
In a special message to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the completion of the 'Decade of Peace' (Dasawarshabhishekaya), Commander of the Army emphasized the need to commit to the realization of the peace and reconciliation in a more energetic way at the time the Nation completes 10 years after successful eradication of terrorism.
"It is regrettable that several incidents threatening the national security of Sri Lanka as a country happened and we must take the responsibility not to let such things happen again," he said.
However, he said if not for the brave war heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom the country enjoys today, there would never be an optimistic atmosphere for us to think about a better tomorrow.
"So, in May 2009 on a day like today, what we achieved was not a victory that can be remembered with sweet memories but a triumph with unpleasant memories," he noted.
"Although there was a peaceful environment and some tragic events occurred due to global influence, our victory would be a great triumph only if we ensure that such brutal terrorism will never take hold of country ever again," he said.
"Today, real justice can be brought to the lives of the brave war heroes who sacrificed their limbs, sweat, blood, and sorrowful tears for our freedom only if the country does not face such unfortunate fate again. It is time for us all to line up to build a free, independent nation of sustainable peace."
Lieutenant General Senanayake recalled that for the unitary status of the country, a total of 20,474 brave War Heroes laid their lives and 3,488 Army War Heroes were reported missing. Likewise, over 37,000 Army War Heroes became disabled for the rest of their lives. In addition, members of the civil staff also laid their lives for the sake of the country.
"I salute all of them at this 10th milestone anniversary and pray all of them attain supreme bliss of Nirvana and wish speedy recovery to all the injured."
The Army Commander told the soldiers that they have to be sensitive to what is happening at present and other global developments.
"I wish no more recurrence of any warfare would happen in Sri Lanka as all Sri Lankans have a strong faith in the Army as Defenders of the Nation," he said.
The Army Commander noted that at the same time, the light of development has dawned in many war affected areas by now and the displaced people are reaping the benefits of peace and reconciliation as they now have the full trust in all Army personnel as the 'Rata Rakina Jathiya'.
"As the present heirs of the future Army, it is your continuing duty to reaffirm that trust," the Army Commander stressed.