Posted on October 18th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Speaking to a felicitation ceremony at Aluvihara, Matale organized to honour elements of war that led to the crushing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)after nearly three decades President Mahinda Rajapaksa said some people who question today what did the government do for the soldiers forget they are the very people who insulted the army and said that Sri Lanka’s army chief is more suitable to lead the Salvation Army.

Rajapaksa said, “There was no limit to these insults. One said the man who planned the capture of Thoppigala is a man who does not know how to read maps. The other man said any fool could go to war.”

The President said that the very people who insulted in that manner are pretending they were highly worried about welfare of the soldiers.More than the LTTE, the President said , it was these elements who were prepared to run down the army at the drop of a hat.

While those people are conspiring to take the Army leaders to war crimes tribunals , the President said it was he , who said they could take the President and not the soldiers to those tribunals as he was ready to climb any gallows as the soldiers carried out only his commands. “I said so because I wanted to protect the war heroes. I am proud to have done that,” the President said.

President Rajapaksa said today the country was going through a series of victories. To achieve this victory many categories of people did limitless sacrifices.

The Sri Lankan military did a magnificent service amazing the entire world. Unlimited dedications were also made by those who provided funds in addition to the media, Government Departments, Trade Unions Civil Defence Committees and medical men and women who cared for the injured. The President pointed out that a leader was not a person who gave way to the opinion of the people and did what they said. A true leader is a person who rectifies and guides the opinion of the people. To defeat terrorism in the country, the voice of the nation should be represented in the world and a battle waged. He said the battle of Vadamarachchi failed then as the outside world was not prepared for it. At the same time, a major transaction had to be undertaken. This was not sufficient. The country needed a leader with a firm determination for political stability and defeating treacherous forces within the country. He said a determined leader is imperative for the military victory of the country.

The President was addressing a ceremony organised by the people of the Central Province to pay tribute to the war heroes who shouldered the task of achieving the national victory. It was organised at Aluvihare in Matale. The people of the Central Province honoured the President, Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Former Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunatilake, Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne and Director General of the Civil Defence Force Sarath Weerasekera. Donald Perera accepted the award on behalf of the Defence Secretary.

Members of the Maha Sangha, the Hindu, Islamic and Catholic Clergy, Ministers D.M. Jayaratne, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Rohana Dissanayake, Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa and Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake and North Central Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake were among those present.

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