Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 24 May 2009





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Government Gazette

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 gently.

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 `impossible, possible’!

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.

Trumpeters 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.


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