“We will never let brutal terrorism arise in this country again”
President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the Ranaviru Day in Matara yesterday
President Maithripala Sirisena said though the damaged
buildings, destroyed roads and other physical resources were being rebuilt, there was no reconciliation process during the post-war period to rebuild the broken hearts and minds.
“Therefore, as the new Government, we clearly state that our policy is that of development and reconciliation,” he said. “We cannot fulfil our expectations for reconciliation only through development.”
Addressing the Ranaviru Day at Matara yesterday (19), the President said the reconciliation process includes investigating the truth, carrying out justice, eliminating the fear and mistrust and building trust among every community and re-building physical resources which were devastated by the armed conflict. “Hence, with the experience of the war, we must understand the requirement of priority for the reconciliation process.”
President Sirisena said the Government, within its policy, would be committed to carry out the reconciliation process in the
similar way that tri-forces, police and civil security force made their commitment in the war.
“We will never brutal terrorism arise in this country again. We will strengthen the process for development and reconciliation. We have kept foremost trust and honour on the tri-forces and leading security divisions. We must clearly state that we will take every possible step to strengthen the military service and to
create a suitable environment to work by providing ample
physical and human resources to the armed forces, especially when it comes to national security,” he said.
The President added that actions were being carried out for a new national security system and a new national security plan,
according to instructions given by the security heads at meetings.
Following is the full text of the speech:
Today we celebrate one of the most historical and significant days of the recent past. Today is the anniversary of the day in which we ended the most ruthless and barbaric terrorism that lasted 30 years, brought peace to the nation, protected territorial integrity and sovereignty, and our national heritage.
We all have bitter experiences of the barbaric nature of the LTTE war. Human qualities were subdued, barbarism raised its head and the truth was suppressed. Peace was destroyed and the bloodshed cost us thousands of lives. There will never be anything humane in a war. In this situation, our valiant forces, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Forces sacrificed their lives and fought this war bravely in defence of the Motherland.
The war that commenced in the 1980s became the worst catastrophe of our nation for three long decades. All developmental activities were at a standstill. People lost their hopes. All of them, however, committed themselves together with the members of the security forces to fight this war until victory, with much sacrifice. All of them who made such sacrifices receive the respect and honour of the nation.
This honour should go to all the members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Forces and all leaders of the State since the 1980s who gave leadership with commitment to bring this conflict to an end. The great national service rendered by the forces cannot be valued in money. Hence, all the members of the forces receive the honour of the Government of Sri Lanka and all the citizens of the country today.
We must pay our attention to the reason why this war dragged on for 30 years. We must study the developments prior to the 30-year-old conflict and how the governments reacted then. In that era the Tamils, Muslims and other communities lived in unity as brothers. The leaders then fulfilled their responsibilities towards the people.
In the 1930s and 1940s the freedom struggle was fought with the cooperation of all the communities and all those who follow different faiths and it succeeded in obtaining independence in 1948. After winning the freedom when we attempted to forge peace, harmony, coexistence and reconciliation, there were many shortcomings in our methods. That has resulted in divisions between the communities and its end result was that we all had to face barbaric terrorism.
With the ending of the war on 18 and 19 May 2009, we witnessed a period of peace. We have to ask ourselves with intelligence, experience, knowledge and wisdom whether we have fulfilled the tasks we should have performed during the post-conflict period. I think we did not fulfil that responsibility. Prominence was given to the development of physical resources, and there was no importance given to the process of reconciliation among communities.
Though the damaged buildings, destroyed roads and other physical resources were being re-built, there was no reconciliation process during the post-war period to rebuild the broken hearts and minds. Therefore, as the new Government, we clearly state that our policy is that of development and reconciliation.
We cannot fulfil our expectations for reconciliation only through development. The reconciliation process includes investigating the truth, carrying out justice, eliminating the fear and mistrust and building trust among every community and re-building physical resources which were devastated by the armed conflict. Hence, with the experience of the war, we must understand the requirement of priority for the reconciliation process.
The conflict started with an issue on water supply for cultivations. From that beginning, culminated with the final battle regarding disruption of the water supply of Mavil Aru. The war that started over the water of Mavil Aru ended in the waters of Nandikadal Lagoon.
When considering all aspects, we understand that we have to fulfil our responsibilities by the people of Sri Lanka both today as well as tomorrow. The Government, within its policy, will be committed to carry out the reconciliation process similar to the way that the tri-forces, police and civil security force carried out their commitment in the war.
We should especially perform our responsibilities efficiently and properly by eliminating fear and mistrust among people, building mutual understanding among everybody and determining our own responsibilities and tasks. To overcome our challenges in the country today and tomorrow, we shall implement our slogan development and reconciliation. The honour of the entire nation will be offered to you. To make that honour the strength of the nation, as the new Government, we clearly state that in all future actions we will take steps for the future wellbeing of our motherland, strengthening national security.
In instructions given to security chiefs at Security Council meetings, action is being taken to work out a new national security system and a national security plan. We fully undertake responsibilities of preventing another war in this country.
We will never let brutal terrorism raise its head in this country again. We will strengthen the process of development and reconciliation and have the foremost trust and respect in the security sector led by the tri-forces.
With regard to national security, we must clearly state that we will take every step to strengthen the armed service and to create a suitable environment for the services by providing ample physical and human resources for their needs.
Sometimes, when we consider the different views and opinions of our political opponents with regard to the present Government, we can see the existence of some with extremist positions. Extremist groups which attempt to create disharmony among the communities exist in our country, as well as in other countries. In keeping with State policy, we will take steps to strengthen national security and the tri forces by providing all the necessary resources to fulfil your duties and responsibilities, while refuting and rejecting false propaganda of extremist groups.
I believe that in the future, you will fulfil your duties in a most satisfactory manner considering this War Heroes Remembrance Day as the day which brought peace to our land and giving priority to reconciliation among communities as the responsibility of a soldier. I must mention here that we will provide all the benefits and social welfare facilities in the development drive of our country to our beloved people, who acted with great commitment in the 30-year-long war.
Today, we all consider this great day as a day which saw the dawn peace in our land. A day that we all respect as well as a day which opens a new chapter in our country’s development and reconciliation. As I mentioned before, all must unite for development and reconciliation in the country. We must all carry out our responsibilities together to defend the unitary status and territorial integrity on behalf of our nation and country.
All of you have placed your confidence in our Government. Therefore, from today, we must work with determination to turn a new page of peace to make this truly a land of peace.
May you all be blessed by the Noble Triple Gem.