Honoring Our Heroes: The End of War in Sri Lanka
Posted on May 18th, 2024

Palitha Ariyarathna

Sl Army War Heros

By Palitha Ariyarathna

As the sun dipped below the horizon on that historic day—May 18, 2009—the world witnessed a momentous event.  Sri Lanka’s war against terror had reached its conclusion. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a ruthless terrorist organization, had plagued our land for far too long. Sleepless nights, fear, and uncertainty had gripped our nation.

But then, our heroes emerged—the brave souls who stood tall against the tide of terror. Their strength was not just physical; it was a beacon of hope that inspired everyone, from the bustling streets of  Colombo to the quiet villages in the north. They fought not only for themselves but for all of us. Their courage transcended borders, uniting hearts across the globe.

The Sacrifices

These heroes—our brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters—made unimaginable sacrifices. They scarified their youth, their dreams, and, in some cases, their lives. Their families bore the weight of uncertainty, praying for their safe return. Yet, they pressed forward, fueled by an unwavering commitment to our beloved Mother Lanka.

The Triumph of Humanity

Humanity powered their wishes. The blessings of the triple gems—Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha—guided their path. They weren’t just soldiers; they were embodiments of compassion, resilience, and unwavering determination. Their actions spoke louder than any political rhetoric or international debate. They proved that terrorism could be defeated, that peace was attainable.

Our True Protectors

In the present and the future, we honor them. They are our guides, our guardians. Their legacy extends beyond the battlefield. They taught us what true peace meant—beyond the absence of gunfire, beyond territorial boundaries. It’s the peace that allows children to play freely, farmers to till their fields, and families to rebuild shattered lives.

A Precious Gift

We remember their faces—the sweat-soaked brows, the determined eyes. They are our angels, our true protectors. Their sacrifices echo through time, reminding us that freedom isn’t free. It’s a precious gift, earned through blood, sweat, and tears. Our good karma brought them to us—the heroes who changed the course of our history.

A Grateful Nation

To our valiant soldiers, sailors, airmen, and police officers, we say: Thank you. Thank you for standing firm when the world doubted. Thank you for showing us that courage knows no bounds. Thank you for defeating LTTE, not just with weapons but with unwavering resolve.

Universal Principles for Peace

As we reflect on their heroism, let us also consider universal principles that can guide us toward lasting peace:

Dignity and Respect: Root peacemaking efforts in a moral compass that promotes trust and respect among nations. Treat all actors in peace processes with fairness and equality.

Solidarity: Recognize that success in peacebuilding depends on the contributions of each actor. Share burdens, risks, and resources. Conflict affects the global community, transcending racial, religious, and ethnic barriers.

Humility: Strive to be empathetic and respectful. International actors should enable—not lead—peace processes. They are midwives, not architects.

Enhancing Legitimacy: Establish long-term legitimacy for processes, institutions, powerholders, and laws governing peace. Legitimacy is essential for sustainable peace.

Accountable Security: Ensure security institutions provide safety as a public good, respect human rights, and follow agreed principles governing the use of force. Peace cannot exist without security.

Respect Sovereignty: Every nation has the right to govern itself without external interference. Respecting sovereignty means acknowledging the independence and self-determination of each country.

Non-Aggression: Leaders should commit to peaceful coexistence and avoid aggressive actions that violate the territorial integrity of other nations. Conquering or forcibly subjugating free countries undermines global stability and trust.

May their names echo through generations. May their sacrifices inspire us to build a better  Sri Lanka—a land where cooperation triumphs over conflict, and the legacy of our heroes lives on.

Now, let’s interpolate the following heartfelt poem that I wrote for the war heroes in Sri Lanka. The war’s end unexpectedly happened on the same day as I wished—it was a natural occurrence after many years of anticipation. Let’s take a closer look at these poems. Keep good wishes always, and nature will support you.”

Our heroes and end of war

Your strength was seen by everyone in the world, It gave courage to all, including me. The nasty LTTE, a terrorist force that brought fear and fright, Many sleepless nights endured. But it has now gone away, on May 18, 2009 (2553/Vesak/18, BE), Just as I had wished before—my dream came true. You sacrificed your life for us to live happily, The reality is—you’re a survivor, a warrior, fighting for freedom and life. Your wishes powered by humanity, Blessed by the triple gems. You’re our heroes, and we say it with pride, You’re our guide. In the present and the future, To defeat terrorism worldwide. Grateful to walk by your side, learning the true meaning of peace. Thank you for showing us reality, morality, intelligence, To angels, demons, NGOs, governments, top politicians, And challenging those who said we couldn’t stop terrorism and grant freedom. I remember… As children, we fantasized about being Superman, Captain, Major, Diyasena, and Konappu Bandara, Even the Karate Kid. But what you’ve accomplished surpasses it all, We remember everything you’ve been through, Every sacrifice you’ve made, Every hero in the past, present, and future. They are our angels, our true protectors. You’re a precious gift, bestowed upon us by good karma. You, our hero… Always showing us the battle against LTTE, cancer, mongolism, Murder, and the war that was won, Because of combatants like you. I am free now… I am alive now… Thankful and honored for everything you did to protect our Mother Lanka—Helabima.”-(2009-05-18 Midnight)

In essence, world leaders must uphold these principles to foster a world where nations thrive without fear of invasion or domination.

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