(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Government today asserted that national security will be protected and steps will be taken to ensure lasting peace.
Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said the Government, under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, would not allow any force to become a threat to the national security.
“We will ensure by all means that lasting peace will prevail in Sri Lanka for our future generation to enjoy dividends of hard earned peace through immense sacrifices made by our war heroes,” he said issuing a message to commemorate ‘Victory Day’, today (May 19).
He said that since ending the 30-year long terrorism in May 19, 2009, the tri-forces, Police and the Civil Security Department had maintained a sustainable peace in the country without a single act of terrorism until the Easter Sunday bomb blasts struck the country, last year.
“Over 29,000 brave men from our tri-forces, Police and the Civil Security Department had to sacrifice their lives, over 60,000 security personnel sustained severe injuries while over 14,000 war heroes are confined to wheel chairs and beds suffering from lifelong injuries on their long march to bring victory to the nation,” the Defence Secretary said.
Recalling the sacrifices made by the soldiers, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne, who commanded the Army‟s 53 Division during the final battle against the LTTE, said that during the last phase of the Vanni operation which lasted for nearly two years and 10 months, nearly 5,900 Army soldiers sacrificed their lives and over 29,000 became disabled and are living with serious injuries.
“Not only Army soldiers but also sailors, airmen, Police cops and soldiers of the Civil Security Department lost their lives and sustained, severe injuries and have sacrificed their yesterdays to bring peace to the country,” he said adding that as a nation all Sri Lankans need to pay gratitude to them and remember them on Victory Day, which falls today.
Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said he and other war heroes, who fought against terrorism, had sacrificed their youth to liberate the country for the next generation to live peacefully.