Victory parade to remember war heroes
Kilinochchi War Memorial
It is well known that Sri Lankans have short memories. However if
they tend to forget the red-letter day in which our heroic forces under
the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa achieved victory against
the most ruthless terror outfit in the world they would be the most
One year has already elapsed since our War Heroes achieved the great
It was the day the people in the country beamed with smiles when they
heard the news of the death of the megalomaniac terror leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran, the prelude to the dawn of a new era of peace and
prosperity in the country.
People are ready to show their gratitude to the War Heroes as they
are preparing to mark the first anniversary of the victory over
As the nation is about to celebrate the first anniversary of the
victory, recalling how our brave troops won the battle against the LTTE,
the Defence Ministry opened two new war memorials, one in Elephant Pass
and the other in Kilinochchi, which were two epic centres during the
battle against the LTTE.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa along with the Security Forces
Commanders, Police Chief and the field commanders who commanded the
battles during the war, opened the two memorials.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the first war memorial on the
banks of Nanthikadal Lagoon in Mullaitivu in 2009.
The memories of yesteryear have changed as those theatres of war have
become accessible to one and all.
Victory parade in 2009
Two days after the completion of the military operation following the
death of terror leader Prabhakaran on the banks of Nanthikadal Lagoon,
the military silenced their guns after firing the last bullets into the
open seas in Vellamullivaikkal, people have distanced themselves from
those nightmare memories.
However, almost one year after the victory day, the Security Forces
are now forming those battle formations again in the Eastern, Northern
and Vanni theatres to mark the great victory.
The old battle formations which have become part and parcel of the
people of this country during those days of battles, will be re-enacted
at the Victory Parade on May 20, the biggest event that has been
organised by the Ministry of Defence to mark the first anniversary of
“They are set to rehearse for this victory parade from May 13 at the
Galle Face Green recalling the memories of the battles they fought
against the LTTE”, a military official said.
According to military officials Security Forces, Police and the Civil
Defence Forces who together contributed to the victory in the Eastern,
Northern and Vanni battles will march in the victory parade.
“All offensive Divisions and Task Forces and the Divisions which held
the ground during the fighting will march separately in the victory
parade under each theatre”, a senior military official said.
“Each regiment will be given representation in the parade, under each
theatre, according to their contribution to the battles in the Eastern,
Northern and Vanni theatres”, the military official said.
Elephant Pass War Memorial
The Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force will also march under
each theatre representing their contribution in the battle against the
“The theatre wise formation of the victory parade will be a special
feature at the victory parade and it will depict the battle formation of
each theatre”, the official added.
He also said field commanders who commanded those battle formations
during the war will command each Division in the parade as well.
“All the supporting arms and logistics battalions will also march in
the same parade under each theatre”, he said.
A mechanised infantry column and a display of weapons used by the
Infantry troops will follow the main parade.
The Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force will conduct an Air
show and a Naval show displaying their aircraft and Navy vessels and
“More than 30 Navy vessels, gunboats and other craft will be
displayed in the Navy show”, a spokesman for the Navy said.
As a prelude to this colourful event Defence Secretary Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa has declared a ‘Ranaviru Week’ from May 10 to 17 commemorate
the fallen War Heroes and those who contributed to victory.
“The Governors of all provinces are set to organise programs to
remember the fallen War Heroes with the participation of the family
members of those War Heroes”, Military Spokesman Major General Prasad
During this week the Sri Lanka Army will also organise ceremonies
Regimental wise and area wise, to remember the fallen War Heroes, he
“The laying of foundation for the ‘Abhimansala’ a shelter for 52
permanently disabled Army personnel in Anuradhapura on May 15, by Army
Commander Lt. General Jagath Jayasuriya will be highlight in the
programs organised by the Sri Lanka Army during this Ranaviru Week”, he
The Seva Vanitha Unit of the Sri Lanka Army launched ‘Brave Heart’ a
campaign to raise funds for this project to take care of those
permanently disabled personnel for the rest of their lives.
Military Spokesman General Prasad Samarasinghe said that the Defence
Ministry will carry out its Api Veniven Api program with renewed vigour
to accelerate the housing program for soldiers at their villages.
“The Defence Ministry is keen on continuing this program as most of
the people tend to forget the War Heroes who made the greatest
sacrifices their motherland”, he said.
A special war memorial ceremony to remember the fallen War Heroes
will be held on May 20, after the victory parade at War Memorial at the
Parliament premises with President Rajapaksa as the chief guest.The
week-long ceremonies will conduct on May 22, with an all-night Pirith
chanting ceremony conclude at the BMICH with the participation of 3,000
Bhikkhus, Major General Samarasinghe said.