USLA Wellington Ranaviru Commemoration 19.5.22-USLA Spokesperson’s Message
Posted on May 19th, 2022

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM

USLA Wellington Ranaviru Commemoration 19.5.22

USLA Spokesperson’s Message

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for once again offering me the privilege of being able to contribute to this USLA  sponsored Ranaviru commemoration on this the 19th day of May 2022.

Today we once again,  remember the Ranaviru, our war heroes who sacrificed life and limb to liberate Sri Lanka from three decades of Tiger terror.  It is because of their sacrifices that the Sri Lankan’s  can enjoy the many freedoms that they enjoy  today which they didn’t have then, like travelling to anywhere at any time on public transport without any fear of any bomb blasts or injuries.  It is the ranaviru sacrifices that have enabled us living overseas to travel to Sri Lanka and enjoy these same freedoms .  In fact it is the ranaviru  sacrifices that have enabled the Sri Lankan’s in the argali boomiya to exercise their democratic privileges as they have done for over 40 days now.

Today we remember every single one of these Raaviru who sacrificed their life and limb for these freedoms.  We remember the 13 soldiers who were ambushed in 1983 that set off this campaign to liberate Sri Lanka.  We remember the lives lost in the different campaigns, including the liberation  of Jaffna , Elephant Pass, Thoppigala & the  Eastern Province,and finally the liberation of all of Sri Lanka on the banks of the Nandikadal Lagoon in Mulativu, exactly 13 years ago. 

We remember every single soldier, naval rating, air force man, the police personnel, other security forces personnel, intelligence officers – all of them who were involved in this effort.  We remember the leaders of the campaigns like the Generals  who led from in front .  We also honour and record our appreciation of the civilian and the political leadership that made this possible by making every facility available to these forces to carry out what they did. 

We also remember ladies and gentlemen,  the civilian victims of the terrorist war.  We remember the assassination of Mr Alfred Duraiappah, the Mayor of Jaffnal in 1975 .We remember the innocent pilgrims gun downed  mercilessly in front of Sri Maha Bodhi.  We remember the border villagers who were gunned down in their sleep  We remember the victims of many attacks, including that of the central bank  in Colombo, some of whom experienced this may be here right now. 

It is for these reasons that we are grateful to the Ranaviru for their  liberation of us all from this carnage. I am proud that …USLA…. is honouring them not only with commemorating their memory but also with providing significant monetary assistance to the various Abimansalas scattered around the country .We are proud that last year we provided 28 computer tablets to children of the ranaviru ,to help in theireducation.

However, I don’t believe that our obligation to the Ranaviru  ends with such material support only.  It is our duty also to do whatever it takes to protect the majesty, the sanctity and the purity of their sacrifices without it being tarnished by false and baseless allegations .  The worst of these is the UNHCR resolution passed in 2016 which effectively condemns the liberation as having been achieved through excessive loss of civilian life , so calling them to be HR violations and war crimes.  This has been exposed  as being false through the findings of  many Presidential  commissions whose findings have been endorsed by international legal luminaries .  Their falsehood  has been revealed most of all by the despatches from the defence attachés from the United States Embassy and the UK Embassy in Colombo, the two countries who are the sponsors of this resolution.  However up till now with the UNHCR every year reinforcing the resolution, the provision of this information exposing their fallacy has not been particularly inspiring.  We have had Lord Naseby in the House of Lords in the UK tabling in 1987 and thereafter the original  defence attache despatches which confirm what we say,. I have presented them in lengthy submissions to UNHCR . However , I don’t believe the SL govt ever provided such comprehensive submissions till  March ’22, when the present Foreign Minister, Prof.GL Pieris made a very good and  successful effort to place all of this information before the UNHC. This resulted in his securing support of many nations in UNHCR for Sri Lanka’s contention that this is a very unjustified resolution.  It is our hope that this will be pursued every six months at the UNHRC with more vigour until we finally get this scar on the Rnaviru removed from the statute books of the UNHRC and let their reputation and the memory of . remain sacred as it should be. 

On a further positive note I am  happy to see that in the ongoing demonstrations in the Aragaa Boomiya  on the Galle face green in Sri Lanka  members of all races – the Singhalese, the tamils, the Muslims and those of different religious  faiths, Buddhists, Hindus, Islamic faith and Christians  all united in their protesting and over the last four weeks. They have celebrated together many religious festivals as if they were all part of one group . .These included the Easter,, the Id Il Fitur after the Ramzan fasting month  & the Wesak  ceremonies. This has been the best demonstration of Eka Mavekuge Daru Kala Bavina, Ymu, Yamu V nopamma”.  This would surely be what the Ranaviru would have wanted.

It was also heartening to see that the Tamil Nadu politicians who were once the adversaries are now pitching in as donors of medical equipment and medications to help Sri Lanka in their hour of need. 

It is also heartening for me to note that whilst last year we had the information that here in New Zealand there was a meeting listed  to commemorate the Tamil Genocide, when I wrote to the Prime Minister Jacinda Arden  of NZ and  Sri Lankan born NZ MP, Vanushi…Walters saying that this baseless claim was hurtful and an encroachment on our human rights  not to be so accused falsely . I suggested in the future that this meeting should not have that label, I am glad to see that at least so far I have not heard of a similar labelled meeting going on in New Zealand today.

So on those positive notes and positive changes I wish to conclude once again Mr President bowing my head in  humble appreciation of the sacrifices of the Ranaviiru   that has  enabled all of us to enjoy the freedoms that we now enjoy as I outlined earlier.

Thank you very much.

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM

Spokesperson, USLA

19.5.22

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