People have been asked to express `patriotic joy` when the President receives the Sannas Paper (scroll) from the Service Commanders at an Independence Square ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the recapture of Toppigala and the East from the LTTE.
This is among the guidelines set out by the Government to State Institutions and Schools for the Thursday ceremonies which will be similar to Independence Day celebrations with a 21-gun salute and military parade.
Trade union leaders in state institutions have been called upon to give leadership to organise events to mark the occasion. State-sector employees and the invitees to the main Colombo ceremony and district ceremonies have been asked to display their joy patriotically when the service commanders hand over the `Sannasa` informing President Mahinda Rajapaksa ? the Commander-in-Chief?of the liberation of the east.
Schools have also been told to organise events coinciding with the main ceremony. Departmental heads and school principals have been advised to explain to those gathered that historically this victory is even greater than the liberation of Jaffna in 1995, and that past victories cannot be compared to this important and significant victory.
They had been advised to tell the people at the ceremonies that during the ceasefire, terrorism developed, and the Eastern Province was considered the nerve-centre of terror activity. They will also say the LTTE has been weakened and economic gains will flow from this victory.
The departments and schools are expected to make arrangements to witness the live coverage of the state ceremony from Independence Square via wide screen television.
`The ceremony will be similar to the independence day celebration with the heads of all four forces being present and a gun salute will be performed. However the whole thing would be a very simple affair,` the Defence Ministry`s Additional Secretary, Willie Gamage, said.
Mr. Gamage who is the chief organizer said security forces, war heroes and their families would be invited for the national and district ceremonies. The organizers have been told to prepare the stages for the ceremonies with huge pictures of Toppigala victory in the background.