NO Victory Day in Sri Lanka this year as it will hurt the Tigers… Allies don’t stop their Victory Celebrations because it may upset the Germans & Japanese?
Posted on May 11th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

 In May 2009 Sri Lanka achieved what many had been saying was an ‘unwinnable war’. The ground force of the LTTE including its megalomanic leader Prabakaran were annihilated in a fair fight. Several times the GOSL requested the LTTE leadership to lay down their arms and surrender which they refused claiming they would fight till the last man. Eventually, sacrificing the lives of close to 30,000 heroic men and causing fatal wounds and injuries to a similar number, victory was achieved. The military victory was accompanied by a successful humanitarian operation that saved the lives of close to 300,000 Tamils amongst whom were LTTE cadres dressed in civil. Over 10,000 LTTE cadres surrendered to the army in civilian clothing while 594 child soldiers were given a Presidential Pardon not given by any world leader ever. If any military should be teaching and giving lessons it is the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. When comparing the last battle against the US/NATO military interventions taking place where all drone bombs, missile attacks resulting in civilian deaths are brushed aside as collateral damage, Sri Lanka has much to be proud of. Elsewhere countries round the world celebrate their victories in massive military parades and country-wide celebrations. They have not stopped these celebrations claiming that the defeated will get hurt but in Sri Lanka we have to come up with absurd reasons just because some in power cannot stand to give credit where credit is due.

What must be clearly noted is that these victory days celebrated all over the world are related to international wars (countries declaring war against the other). In Sri Lanka’s case we were engaged in an non-international armed conflict with armed non-state actors carrying out terror tactics. Terrorists do not have prisoner of war status and are not entitled to laws that govern POWs but terrorists must abide by international laws in place and States can use domestic laws to charge terrorists.

On 26 July 1945 Allied leaders called on Japan to surrender (Potsdam Declaration) in exchange for the assurance of a peaceful government for the Japanese people. Japan refused to surrender resulting in America dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 destroying 5square miles of the city. Three days later on 9 August even after realizing the damage done, America drops another atomic bomb on Nagasaki killing another 40,000. Japan surrendered to the Allies unconditionally on 14 August 1945 thus ending World War 2. Emperor Hirohito declared to his people should we continue to fight…it would not only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation but would also lead to the total extinction of human civilization”. President Harry Truman (US President) declared This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbor. This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would”.

Celebrations did not stop even after Japanese soldiers devastated by the surrender began committing suicide. Over 100 US POWs are said to have been murdered as were Australian and British POWs.

August 14th and 15th have been known since as ‘Victory over Japan Day’ or V-J Day. September 2 is the designated V-J Day in the entire United States.

Australia too celebrates V-J Day across the country. Amateur Radio operators hold “Remembrance Day Contest”. The Netherlands too has its own celebrations on 15th August every year. 15th August is a public holiday in South Korea to commemorate victory over Japan. Starting from 1946, September 3 was celebrated as “Victory of War of Resistance against Japan Day” in China.

Victory in Europe Day is a public holiday on 8 May. Across Europe countries continue to celebrate victory over Germany & Japan. Italy holds its Liberation holiday on 25th April, Denmark on 5th May, 8th May is celebrated in France, Czech Republic (Day of Victory),  Poland (National Victory Day), Norway (Liberation Day), Ukraine (Victory over Nazism Day),

Ironically Japan has since become one of America’s closest allies. While Japanese continue to suffer from the effects of the atomic bomb even over 70 years after, the Japanese government remains a stoic defender of American policy. When President Bill Clinton decided not to refer to V-J Day but to the ‘End of the Pacific War’ in the 1995 celebrations, controversy sparked across America accusing the US President of displaying insensitivity to US veterans who as POWs suffered at the hands of Japanese forces. It is this same sentiment of insensitivity towards the Sri Lankan military who sacrificed much to bring peace that many throughout Sri Lanka feel when suddenly a day that Sri Lanka should celebrate is denied using the excuse that it may hurt the feelings of the tigers! Many however wonder whether that is the real excuse or the fact that many in governance did not wholeheartedly favour a military victory and wished instead to keep the conflict from being solved – thus the ‘unwinnable war’ theory.

May 9th is Victory Day in Russia. It’s a national holiday to mark Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War 2. Every year since 1946 Russia has celebrated Germany’s defeat in a military display where hundreds of thousands of Russians take part in a march to remember their relatives who served in the war carrying placards with their portraits. It is said that 27million Soviets died in the war.

Even the US military took part in the parade –

The 70th anniversary of D-Day was held on Sword Beach of Normandy in 2014. 70 years of triumphalism and not a word against it by the UNSG for obvious reasons. If Gen. Eisenhower can declare that every soldier who set foot on Omaha Beach in Normandy was a hero, why can’t Sri Lanka celebrate the courage, heroism of its armed forces? If Allies continue to celebrate the end of fascism why can’t Sri Lanka celebrate the end of a world proscribed terrorist leader and his ground force (though we admit that those who supported and continue to support LTTE are very much alive and active). When 19 heads of states including the US President, Russian President and even the Queen join together for triumphalism which reduced Germany to virtual rubble why are we shy to celebrate a military victory that no other military has succeeded and the world is still after Al Qaeda and ISIS.

There were no tears for the Germans. No one raised a finger to say ‘what about the 1million Germans killed after the war ended’, there were no human rights pundits to say ‘lets us not celebrate because it would be insensitive to the Germans and Japanese’. There were no petitions by the celebrated human rights activists to stop triumphalism even after 70 years of the war ending!

What was startling is that Germany is now a partner of the very nations who stood together to taunt the victory over the Germans. Not a hum came from Angela Merkel. She did not complain or issue a statement drawing attention to the millions of Germans killed by Allied policy. She did not remind the world about the flattening of Dresden by British airforce. She did not question the thousands of German civilians who died when precision bombing specifically targeted civilian cities. She didn’t showcase to the world the appalling conditions that the Germans were subject to. Angela Merkel sat silence as did Germany while every year the Allies continue to celebrate victory over the Germans.

UN Secretary General keeps silent every year but when little Sri Lanka achieves a fete that even the UN feels ashamed to acknowledge, the entire international system comes down against Sri Lanka’s ‘triumphalism’ in a very clear show of hypocrisy and double standards.

  • five million Germans were starved to death in occupied Germany – Sri Lanka though a third world nation ensured all IDPs in refugee camps including LTTE cadres were fed, clothed and even banks were opened for Tamils to deposit their gold and money.
  • 2 million German Soldiers died in allied captivity while performing slave labor – not a single Tamil faced slave labor.
  • US President General Eisenhower prohibited the German Public from sharing their own meager rations with detained German soldiers. Any attempt by German civilians to feed the prisoners was punishable by death. All the communities in Sri Lanka joined the GOSL in relief efforts
  • Of the 90,000 Germans who surrendered at Stalingrad, only 5,000 ever returned NOTHING HAPPENED TO THE 12,000 LTTE CADRES WHO SURRENDED

Sri Lanka has every right to celebrate – the question is why are we not? Is the sacrifices of the forces not greater than the sentiments of Tigers who still will not disclose what happened to 5000 missing soldiers? While the wives and families of these soldiers have lodged the missing names with the Presidential Commission on Missing the UN/UNHRC/foreign envoys and rights activists as well as media are stoic silent on finding out what has happened to these missing soldiers. Instead they spend on well-funded campaigns highlighting a missing Tamil and most of these ‘missing’ have ended up not ‘white-vanned’ or ‘disappeared’ but conveniently gone missing to appeal for refugee status and in most cases these ‘disappeared’ have had links to LTTE.

We have every right to celebrate. Sri Lanka achieved no easy victory. The victory needs to be remembered for the country fought not only LTTE terrorists. The LTTE was backed by many forces – India, Tamil Nadu, the Church, Missionary NGOs, Faith-based organizations. Certain officials of the UN, foreign MPs on LTTE payroll, LTTE diaspora camouflaged under charities, local tigers and a plethora of others who wanted to live off the conflict because it was more beneficial for a prolonged conflict rather than to end it. Therefore to end a military offensive wherein some elements inside the military too had dealings with the enemy was no easy victory especially when the entire media and communication channels were all weeping for the tigers and not the civilians the tigers were regularly killing.

Therefore, the public needs a better excuse than hurting the sentiments of the tigers to cancel 2016 Victory Day celebrations to thank the military for giving us peace, for sacrificing their lives so that we can walk out of our homes without fearing for LTTE bombs and suicide missions taking place. We owe our gratitude to the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, the Police and the Civil Defense Force for the freedom and peace that we today enjoy when elsewhere round the world bombs are going off in airports and public places. However the recent discovery of ammunition and suicide kits makes any to wonder who is upto mischief again. 

Shenali D Waduge

3 Responses to “NO Victory Day in Sri Lanka this year as it will hurt the Tigers… Allies don’t stop their Victory Celebrations because it may upset the Germans & Japanese?”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Please watch the movie – Weight of Chains – The story of what happened to former Yugoslavia.

    This has many parallels to what is currently happening in Sri Lanka. These include the US / Britain involvement; the role of NGOs, INGOs and the Church; Use of local oligarchs and rich; Use of ethnic divisions; etc etc. This drama is awaiting Sri Lanka to repeat in yet another country in the same way it happened in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Chile, so many Latin American Countries and now in Syria.

    As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. We have to show before / after pictures of countries that were devastated by the intervention of the Western Christian forces.

    This has now got multiplied many times over by the involvement of Middle East money now increasingly coming into Sri Lanka to buy off land from the Sinhalese. In Colombo alone several acres of land are disappearing into Muslim hands legally.

    What will be the fate of the idiotic Sinhala Buddhists? They are no better than lambs to slaughter!

  2. sena Says:

    How about our own politicians and educated class – are they celebrating? Are they grateful? Soon after the country was saved from terrorism (sacrificing 26000 lives, mostly rural poor) they went back to their usual self exploiting the productivity of blue collar workers (whose families sacrificed their loved ones in the war) while drawing large rupee salaries. Even MR who boast about his rural upbringing went even beyond JR in adoting an economic policy which sent the country to more debt. I hope even at this late stage these privileged people who got their education free start contributing to the economy by developing a knowledge based economy

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Even the ordinary Tamil people are glad that the LTTE was removed ! Their children are not being dragged out any more from their classrooms to join the bloodthirsty hatred of the LTTE, to die for nothing for a death cult organisation.

    So why not mark the event in sombre joy in Sri Lanka ?
    To please whom is it not marked in an annual event ?

    We hope it is not another ‘dumb’ idea from the Reconciliation Unit headed by CBK.

    As long as there are Tamil Dalits by the millions in Tamil Nadu, Lanka leaders have to be careful. As long as there are divide and rule people, Lanka leaders must be careful.
    It is best to show the world that Lanka will NOT tolerate such outfits as the LTTE ever again. To get the message across we must Mark the event every year.

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