Army sounds end of battle
The total Liberation of land, sea and air space is the pride of the
true liberators. The fragrance of freedom radiates the heralding of a
new era. While the debris of a deadly battle in the `No fire zone’ are
showing to the world that the path to freedom is not a cake walk but a
`long march’ to liberate thousands of civilians and put an end to the
ruthless terrorism, those who fought to free the country from terrorism
are to celebrate the victory!
Pix by Rukmal Gamage
Starting from Mavil Aru, the gallant soldiers braved all sorts of
terror resorted to by the LTTE. The forward march did not stop until the
soldiers destroyed the LTTE and its leader and liberated thousands of
innocent hostages trapped in the LTTE’s hell-hole. Finally they reached
their last destination - one square kilometer of land in Puthumathalan -
taking control of the entire Vanni and heralding the message that Sri
Lanka is completely free of terrorism. Our valiant soldiers did what the
whole world thought to be `impossible’.
After the death of the LTTE’s megalomaniac leader Prabhakaran, the
entire country irrespective of caste or creed were on streets to
celebrate the victory while the soldiers, whose blood and sweat brought
the victory, gathered at Kariamulliwaikkal coastline. The Fara III, the
wreckage of the Jordanian ship, liberated by the soldiers just a few
weeks ago was decorated with the National flag. With rusty body full of
battle scars, the ship is still a fine hideout for the terrorists to
target aircraft and ships. A large sized national flag fixed at the very
top of the ship flutters majestically.
The beach front of the Kariamulliwaikkal, a land of terror for over
two decades will certainly go down in the military history as the place
where the brave soldiers officially announced the end of the Asia’s
longest terrorist war. And most importantly they will also tell the
world that the world’s most ruthless terrorist is no more.
The soldiers with their Division Commanders, Task Force Commanders
and Company Commanders are arriving at the beach front majestically.
Happiness and bravery are written on each of their faces. They reduced
the LTTE’s fighting power, which was believed to be unbeatable. But it
was the courage and dedication of these young soldiers who fought until
they destroyed the last terrorist, captured the last inch of land and
liberated the last hostage in the No Fire Zone, that brought victory,
peace and freedom to the Motherland.
At the end of every battle, the tradition is to announce the victory
by marching along the streets with the respective regimental flags or
beating drums. The war heroes of the Vanni theatre marked the end of the
deadly battle in a charming but colourful ceremony.
Thousands of soldiers with a fresh and relaxed look had gathered
around Kariamulliwaikkal. After months they, who fought the terrorists
wearing dusty uniforms, are now in clean, dark green and camouflage
uniforms with shining boots. Embracing each other, the soldiers shared
the joy with their colleagues whom they met after months. Most of them
have arrived here after months of fighting the terrorists.
“This event is to mark the end of the ruthless war which erased out
the name of Prabhakaran and his followers from our motherland. The echo
of the large calibre weapons that you will hear in a while will signal
us to make a vow to protect the sovereign state - the pearl of the
Indian Ocean - from sea, air and land which you see at the background”,
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 59 Division and Director
Infantry, Brigadier Chagie Gallage explained.
He says that the Fara III at the backdrop will tell the world why
this ship, which is drifting in our shores, could not be saved and
lethal armaments in the surroundings would tell as to who is responsible
for this. The wrecked ship was used by the LTTE as a cover against
assaults from Army. The LTTE had positioned its heavy machine guns and
other medium calibre weapons to attack the soldiers.
The colourful flags of each Division, Task Force and Regiment flutter
in the sky majestically more than ever while the National Flag
rythmically flutters showing the `Lion with the Sword’ more markedly.
The sun which burnt the golden sandy beach with unbearable heat has
become milder as it probably does not want to hurt the valiant soldiers.
The sea breeze is refreshing while the waves are kissing the beach
A mild shower starts. “Well if it rains it is going to be a shower of
flowers by the saints and if it is with a lightning strike it will be an
added colour to the fire salutation”, Brig. Gallage says to the media
who gather to capture the glimpse of this historical moment.
The Security Forces Commander Maj. General. Jagath Jayasuriya and
other Divisions Commanders GOC 58 Division Brigadier Shavendra Silva,
whose troops had captured most of the LTTE territory, welcomed all of
them warmly. They embraced each other dearly and proudly thanking them
for their immense contribution to the landmark victory.
Two minutes silence was observed as a mark of respect to the valiant
warriors who sacrificed their lives for the sake of victory. It is also
a tribute to those whose lives, limbs, blood and sweat that made the
The high calibre munitions from armoured vehicles, mechanized
infantry vehicles and infantry heavy machine guns fixed around the beach
front were fired to the horizon ensuring that no one could invade Sri
Lanka in future.
The thundering sounds broke the silence giving a fire salutation to
the Commander of the Army, General Sarath Fonseka. “This is also to
salute the courage, commitment, dedication and unwavering leadership of
the Army Commander, who is honoured and elevated to position of the
first ever serving General of this country. His leadership made us to
march this long to mark the victory”, Brig. Gallage said.
Ending the charming military celebration, the soldiers made a loud
hurray saying `mawbimata jayasri... jayasri... jayasri’ (victory for the
Motherland) and waved the national flag. Here they once again made a vow
to protect the country from terrorism and to maintain peace and harmony
until the innocent people, who were beaten by the LTTE for decades,
return to their own lands.
marking the end of the event played the tune of rising amidst the
clapping of soldiers for all of those who made sacrifices in their march
to liberate the country’s land, air and sea. Along with the SF Commander
Vanni Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, 57 GOC Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, 53 GOC
Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, former 59 GOC and now the overall operations
Commander Anuradhapura Maj. Gen. Nandana Udawatta, 59 GOC Brig, Chagie
Gallage, 58 GOC Brig. Shavendra Silva, 55 GOC Brig. Prasanna Silva, GOC
Task Force 2 Brig. Rohana Bandara, GOC Task Force 3 Brig. Satyapriya
Liyanage, GOC Task Force 4 Col. Nishantha Wanniarachchi, GOC Task Force
8 Col. G.V. Ravipriya and their Deputy GOCs and all regimental
commanders, who led the soldiers for this victory posed for a group
picture to mark the historic moment.
The Artillery and MBRLs fired at the Northern coast at 2.45 pm on
last Wednesday by the brave soldiers of the Sri Lankan Army signalling
the end of the battle to defeat terrorism would go down in world
military history as the occasion in which the first ever Armed Forces in
the world succeeded in annihilating terrorism from its soil! At a time
when the whole world says hats off for these courageous soldiers for the
sacrifices they made to defeat terrorism, they vow to launch their
`second battle’ - guarding the country until the last victim of war is
resettled in his or her own habitat.
They also vowed they would not allow anyone to trigger a bloodbath
again in Sri Lanka or cause the division of the country.