In his first ‘Ranaviru Day’ message after being elected to office, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the greatest tribute to war heroes was to transform into a reality the aspirations of those who represented the ultimate aim of the civil war that culminated in victory on May 19, 2009.
“I write this message with utmost contentment and pride to pay homage to the valiant war heroes who defeated separatist terrorism and brought peace and harmony to the country. The decisive defeat separatist terrorism suffered is a symbol of this country’s yearning for independence, unity, territorial integrity and national security. A sense of pride and joy overwhelms me as we commemorate the ‘Ranaviru Day’ against a backdrop where those aspirations have been accomplished.
“The patriotic citizens of this nation were shocked and traumatised in the face of events that compromised the unity and national security in the recent past. A number of actions that discredited the Sri Lankan armed forces, which have won plaudits as one of the most disciplined forces in the world, occurred during that period. People who were agonised due to these circumstances sought restoration of law instead of lawlessness and justice in place of injustice while longing to see the dignity of war heroes restored which they rightfully deserved. We were able to fulfil their expectations.
“To make peace and independence, we should stand together as one sovereign nation. We should achieve our targets while building a strong economy and integrating with the rest of the world benefitting Sri Lanka. Despite horrendous pandemics such as COVID-19, we will not be restrained. The entire public service mechanism including health services and security forces will continue to work on national development plans.
“I believe with utmost confidence that it would be the supreme honour that can be bestowed upon war heroes who fought against separatism and the citizens who supported them. I extend my heartiest gratitude to the war heroes who laid down their lives and made numerous sacrifices to our motherland,” he said.