Army Commander salutes his men for their roles
"The ability to evaluate the situation objectively has always been a
sign of true leadership" - General Frido and Senger Etterlin ground
Commanders and hundreds of troops in the Army who sweated day and night
for victory over terrorism, mostly during the last leg of the Wanni
battles were hailed and their national contribution appreciated during a
mammoth saluting parade that got under way at Army Headquarters Thursday
The military ceremony saw Commander of the Army, General Sarath
Fonseka, appreciative of their roles, presented silver parchment scrolls
to twelve War Heroes who were at the forefront of the battles against
Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, Major General M.C. Mendaka P.
Samarasinghe, Major General N.A. Jagath C. Dias, Major General Nandana
Udawatta, Major General G.D.H. Kamal Gunarathna, Brigadier Prasanna P.
De Silva, Brigadier Sathyapriya D.T. Liyanage, Brigadier L.H. Shavindra
C. Silva, Brigadier C.P. Gallage, Brigadier P.M. Rohana Bandara, Colonel
Nihantha D. Wanniarachchi and Colonel G.V. Ravipriya were the recipients
of the conferment, awarded by General Sarath Fonseka on the occasion.
Under the shade of fluttering regimental flags in the esplanade, more
than one thousand and two hundred soldiers, belonging to infantry and
other regiments serving Wanni in a colourful military parade, commanded
by Major General Kamal Gunarathne saluted their chief, General Sarath
Fonseka, as rhythmic melodies of "Peradiga muthu etayayi me" and "Hela
jathika abhimane" resonated adding patriotic sentiments to the occasion.
General Sarath Fonseka, in a moving address to his troops commended
them for their gallantry and valour.
Here is the full text of the Commander's speech:
"In order to mark the victory over terrorism that spanned over thirty
years, posing a threat to unitary nature and sovereignty of our
motherland, and also to pay tribute to all War Heroes who relentlessly
fought to eliminate the scourge of LTTE terrorism from the Sri Lankan
soil, this mammoth saluting parade was organized. "Let me on this
occasion of commemoration also recall cherished memories of our fallen
War Heroes, those went missing, became disabled and those sustained
injuries during the battle. That memory gives a deep sense of sorrow,
but accomplishment of their mission offers great solace to us.
This battle victory was largely dependent on leadership of officers
and soldiers who fought in the battleground. His Excellency, President
Mahinda Rajapaksa and Secretary of Defence as well as those here and
abroad offered leadership and guidance to this fight deserve our tribute
and commendation. "Fighting units, task forces, service and logistic
units extended their maximum support to us and such cooperation is
Those who provided protection to the ground while fighting was on
elsewhere, also receive our praise.
"New recruits and soldiers who joined the Army en masse contributed
largely to this victory. Had they failed to do so, we would not have
been able to see an end to this battle. Parents and their family members
who directed those heroic soldiers to join the Army also deserve our
praise. "In conclusion, let me thank the President, Secretary Defence,
the government and everybody for helping us achieve our target that led
to the fall of Prabhakaran and all the terrorists. Let me also thank my
wife, children, all well-wishers and staff at Army Headquarters for
their unstinted support given to me during the period of the battle. Let
us resolve to rally round as one people in order to develop this country
and lead it to be a prosperous one. Let peace prevail in Sri Lanka."