Sri Lankan nation, today (19 May) celebrated the third anniversary of the triumph over one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world, the LTTE, at a glittering ceremony held at the Galle Face Green in Colombo under the patronage of H.E President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Over 24,000 members of the Security Forces who made the supreme sacrifice for the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country remembered by observing two minutes silence at the commencement of the state ceremony.
21 gun salutes were accorded to H.E President and Commander – in Chief of the armed forces Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President also received the state guard of honour by the members of the armed forces.
President Rajapaksa addressing the nation on this historical day said, that the great victory achieved by the security forces must be preserved and remembered by all.
Thereafter the President awarded ‘Parama Weera Vibhushanaya’ gallantry awards to fifteen valiant war heroes. The awards were presented to the Next of kin of the war heroes. The ‘Parama Weera Vibhushanaya’ is the highest gallantry award which can be awarded to a military person whose conduct in the face of enemy had been beyond the extremes of expectations making supreme sacrifice towards the nation. This decoration shall be conferred by HE the President by a citation under his hand seal and the award shall be made personally by HE the President at a special investiture.
Then the 3rd Victory Day parade began with march past by ground troops of armed forces, Police and Civil Defence Force, sail past by the Sri Lanka Navy and fly past by the Sri Lanka Air Force with the command of Maj Gen JC Rambukpotha RSP USP ndc psc. Also, the Victory Day Parade was included the exhibition of munitions used in the humanitarian operation by the security forces.
All the contingents participated in the parade showed the nation’s pride over the ever successful humanitarian mission conducted in the world’s history rescuing nearly 300,000 innocent civilians from the clutches of barbaric Tamil Tiger terrorists.
All facilities were provided to the public to witness this grand ceremony and to pay tribute to the thousands of War Heroes who liberated the country from the clutches of the terrorism.
Hon Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Hon Ministers and Members of the diplomatic corps were present at the grand event. Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff, Commanders of armed forces, Inspector General of the Police, senior military officers and many distinguished guests were also present at the Victory Day celebrations.
According to Army spokesperson, Brigadier GV Ravipriya, almost all members of the Sri Lankan Army who have made their contribution to the humanitarian operation have marked their presence in this colorful parade. The total strength of the parade of the Sri Lanka Army was 473 officers and 5022 soldiers.
The Sri Lanka Army parade comprised of ceremonial Foot Columns, Eastern Column, Jaffna Column, Wanni Centre, Wanni Western, Wanni Eastern, Mech Columns accompanied by various types of weaponry, Armored vehicles, Artillery guns, Engineers Vehicles, Signal’s Vehicles with Radar & Communication equipment and Infantry Vehicles with mounted weaponry.
The service personnel who were disabled in the face of the enemy were also seen joining the parade.
Sri Lanka Navy marked their presence at the National Victory Day parade with 7 Naval ships, 5 Gun Boats, 14 Fast Attack Crafts, 20 Wave Rider Boats and 26 Arrow Boats. Naval contingent of the parade consisted of 113 officers and 1065 sailors representing the four theaters namely Headquarters, East, North and Wanni. Also, the Navy showcased its capabilities on 9 vehicles with Naval Weapons, Weapon Control Systems and Radar Control Systems symbolizing the status of strength.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Air Force participated in the parade with 73 officers and 1398 other ranks. A total of 31 aircrafts with 56 pilots were seen participating the fly past of the Victory Day Parade. Also, the Air Force displayed a glamorous array of UAVs, Radar Systems and Anti Aircraft Guns in the parade.
The Sri Lanka Police also marked their presence in the parade with strength of 61 Police officers, 963 police constables and with 6 Police vehicles. The Civil Security Department also presented a colorful parade, which comprised of 30 officers and 462 other ranks.
More glamour was added to this majestic National event by the colorful ceremonial bands of Tri Services & parachute displays by the Tri Services paratroopers.