September 17, 2019
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    Eternal Memories of War Heroes Re-kindled at Battaramulla

    May 20, 2019

    The Nation, now reaping the fruits of peace, reconciliation and co-existence, thanks to the selfless sacrifices of close to 30,000 precious lives of War Heroes of tri-services and the Police, once again revered the memory of them as the Nation passes the milestone 10th commemoration, the decade of peace, 'Dasawarshabhishekaya' during a fitting tribute held at Battaramulla National War Heroes' Monument this afternoon (19) on National War Heroes' day under the aegis of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena.

    Every 19th May has been dedicated for the gallant memory of War Heroes as the Ranaviru Commemorative Day with the noble intention of paying due respect and recognition to unmatched sacrifices of all tri-service and Police War Heroes who defended the territorial integrity of the country defeating ruthless terrorism on 18 May 2009, a terrorism that was widely believed as 'unwinnable' by some.

    The event largely organized by the Rana Viru Seva Authority (RVSA) got underway in high esteem with pomp and pageantry seconds after the arrival of the day’s Chief Guest, HE the President Maithripala Sirisena at the scene, to be received by Major General (Rtd) Janmika Liyanage, Chairperson, Rana Viru Seva Authority, together with the State Minister of Defence Hon Ruwan Wijewardana and the Secretary Defence, Major General (Rtd) Shantha Kottegoda.

    The 10th anniversary ceremony agenda lined up under auspices of the Ministry of Defence and the State Ministry of Defence included multi-religious observances that transferred merits to their memory, floral wreath-laying, lamp lighting and presentation of military honours.

    Prime Minister Hon Ranil Wickremasinghe, Speaker of the Parliament Hon Deshabandu Karu Jayasooriya, Leader of the Opposition, Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa, Governor of the Western Province, Hon M. Ashad S Sally, Hon Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Arjuna Ranathunge, State Minister of Defence Hon Ruwan Wijewardana, Secretary to the President, Secretary Defence, State Secretary of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Army Commander, Navy Commander, Air Force Commander and a host of invitees were present at the ceremony in addition to a representative gathering of fallen War Heroes' next of kin.

    Major General (Rtd) Janmika Liyange welcomed all distinguished guests at the outset of the proceedings and invited the gathering to observe a two-minute silence in memory of all fallen War Heroes soon after everyone joined reciting the national anthem.

    As rhythmic beats of traditional Rana Bera, including Hevisi, Purappattu, Magul Bera, Geta Bera, etc, presented by tri-service and Police bands as a fantastic fusion of patriotism reverberated, recalling gestures of past heroic deeds and symbolizing the bravery and courage of departed War Heroes, the ceremony turned solemn as HE the President, Prime Minister Hon Ranil Wickramasinghe and all other dignitaries lined up to place floral wreaths at the monument while bagpipe music was rending the air.

    It was a moment filled with grief, pain and loss, but the magnificent towering monumental gesture appeared to have immortalized their memory for the living to see. Widows of several fallen ground commanders and service chiefs and beloved next of kin of fallen War Heroes followed suit and paid their homage in succession with eyes filled with tears.

    Many of them were seen carrying bouquets of flowers before they knelt down at the foot of the monument and went on shedding tears. It was a touching moment with moving scenes that made everyone emotional on the occasion. The rare spectacle with Ranaviru children carrying replicas of lotus flowers with lighted candles to pay reverence to their departed bread-winners and mothers robbed the day’s chain of events.

    Then, followed the military traditions. As the Last Post honouring their memory was sounded by trumpeters of the Tri-services and the Police, the setting turned more sensitive and melancholic. The Reveille beamed marking the culmination of the formal ceremony as the dusk was setting. President Sirisena joined other distinguished invitees afterwards and lit commemorative flames in front of the monument as a mark of respect to the War Heroes.

    The ‘Aloka Pooja’ illuminated the entire memorial complex, giving eternity to the heroism, displayed by members of the Armed Forces and the Police who laid their valuable lives for the sake of the motherland in the 30-year long war against terrorism.

     

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