speech by Minister of Environment and Natural resources Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka on the occasion.
Distinguished guests, Ladies & Gentlemen, Friends and Colleagues,
It is indeed an honour to me to be among this august audience for the launching of the book authored by me titled “Charge of the Lion Brigade” – the epic victory over LTTE by Sri Lankan Armed Forces.
At the outset let me thank our president His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Defence Minister cum chief of the armed forces, Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, ex chief of Defence Vice Marshal Donald Perera, ex Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, ex Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Airforce Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunatilaka, Civil Defence Director Sarath Weerasekara, Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickramaratna, Commander of various divisions and valiant soldiers for the courage’s triumph over the world most ruthless terrorists mafia the LTTE. Dear members of the armed forces, with much gratitude let me repeat that if not for your leadership, courage, strategies and the dedication we would not have been able to uproot the LTTE. We are free today due to your sacrifices. Thank you very much.
On 23rd September this year when I visited the office of the United Nations Secretary General to handover a copy of our new sustainable development plan – Green Lanka – I was received by it’s under Secretary General No.2 in New York, Mr. Shurkan – head of sustainable development and economic affairs division. Having welcomed me his opening remarks were “Sri Lanka was the only country which fought global terrorism successfully after the super powers declared war on terror after 9-11-2001”. I was so proud to hear his words of appreciation after our victory although, some of the UN officials and some powerful countries are now trying to undermine it, on human rights allegations. But true friends of Sri Lanka, specially those who belong to new emerging Asian hemisphere from Iran to Japan, have truly appreciated what our brave soldiers have achieved.
Then he told me that he had once served as the Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka from 1976 to 1980. It was the period when our state run economy was being transformed to free liberal economy. China under Den Sheo Feng was willing to follow the same path but patiently and intelligently. Then there was a plan called Grater Colombo Plan initiated by late Mr. Feliex Dias Bandaranayaka. Mr. Lalith Ethulathmudali, Mr. Ronnie De Mel, and of course Mr. Upali Wijewardana they pioneered this ambitious plan to convert Colombo and suburbs into a Singapore. As requested by the Chinese president who wanted to study the plan Mr. Sha Shurkan had sent a copy of it to his president. After having had a few consultations with Mr. Upali Wijewardana and others the Chinese Ambassador had prepared a report and gone to China to present it to relevant authorities. Having thoroughly studied it they had prepared their own plan. As a result emulating the Greater Colombo plan, the Shanghai Plan was introduced. I was some what curious at what Sha Shurkan had to tell me. Now Shanghai is the worlds most prosperous global capital. New York is far behind it. What happened to Colombo? What were the reason for it? Why were our prepared plans were not implemented? Was it because of Velupille Prabhakaran? If it was the cause now that snag or barrier is removed. No one in this world can stop the proud leap forward of our nation now. Let us start it right now.
Naturally I write, I talk and I do what I think. So I wrote this booklet. My sole aim was to show the world that our soldiers had revisited our heroic past, and they can now be compared to King Dutugemunu and King Wijayabahu who defeated Chola Emperors more than a thousand years ago. After Raja Raja and Rajendra, Tamil separatism took more than a thousand years to revive their claim to a separate state. First it was Perrier of the Tamil Nadu who initiated Dravida Kasagam Movement and its military wing. Sardar Patel of India ruthlessly crushed that military outfit. Jawahalla Neru used constitutional measures to suppress the DMK movement. Then they turned to Sri Lanka. Step by step, wave by wave, Velupille Prabhakaran had being striding the victory march of the Tamil Eelam. We saw our Sinhala brothers were being chased away from the North. According to the statistics 21,000 Sinhalese were living there in Jaffna district along in 1981. Not a single Sinhalese was spared. Sinhalese were ethnically cleansed. Over 150,000 Sinhalese were chased away to clear in North & East, so-called Tamil Homeland. During the past 25 years they have being living as displaced persons. Suresh Premachandran and Sampanthan who are living in Colombo among Sinhalese now are talking about Sinhalization. The chased out Sinhalese do have an inherent right to resettle in their homeland in the North. Velupille Prabhakaran chased away Muslims from North in 1991. During the past 18 years they have being living in Kalpitiya. They too have an inherent right resettle in their homeland in the North. All the Tamils who were uprooted from their villages by the LTTE too should have inherent right to resettle. And this government is now facilitating this huge rehabilitation task.
Tamil racists should know after Vijayabahu’s victory over Tamil racism they need another thousand years to regroup. They now need another two thousand years or more to regroup for their Eelam dream. Our brave soldiers totally annihilated them. Not a single terrorist leader was spared. It was a complete resounding victory. Thanks again and again to our brave soldiers.
I wrote this booklet because I wanted to show the world that achievement of our soldiers is world class. If we had revisited world military history from Alexander, Gangis Khan, Altila the Hun, Napoleon to Vo Nguyen Giap of Vietnam War, we would be able to see the many parallels in strategy, tactics, dedication and sacrifices of our military leaders and soldiers to these great military tacticians and heros. Napoleon used unconventional strategies and tactics against Austrians – Russian – Italian Armies and Won. Karl Von Klautzwitz stipulated Napoleonic modern war theories, strategies and the German army extensively used this theory in world War 1 and War 2. Now the world military researchers should learn, analyze and theorize our victory because not after 9/11, for the whole post world war period no nation was able to annihilate a powerful terrorist group like the LTTE without the support of the super powers. So how we prepared our grand politico military strategy, how we managed our foreign relations or external factors, how our nation whole heartedly contributed to this effort, how the external and internal conspirators’ were thwarted, how we continuously supplied men and material while maintaining our economic stability should be learned analyzed and theorized and compared with other great military victories.
In the aftermath of the Kilinochchi debacle (1998) we formulated 3 year visionary action plan to eradicate terrorism and handed over it to the then political and military heads. They ignored it and went through the disastrous “Sudunelum Path” our forces were entrap and killed as a result. Then we took to streets but the vicious cycle was revolving which we could not stop. But our dream to liberate the country from the clutches of the Neo Nazi Tamil Terrorist would still be there and we were dreaming. When we were drafting the 2005 presidential manifesto Mahinda Chinthanaya, we knew that we could not spell our dreams totally. But as the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stated “the fundamental platform I would base my initiative would be an undivided country. A national consensus and honourable peace”, and further he stated our agenda shall include renouncing separatism, demilitarization, and enter into the democratic process. There we know that Demilitarization, Democratization, and Development, 3-D phenomenon would be our grand politico military strategy.
Now we are a proud nation. After Parakramabahu the VI, who defeated Jaffna Chakrawarthi sending Prince Sapumal in 1450, after 560 years every inch of this country is now belongs to our nation. Our children can go alone all over the country with their heads hold high. Ten years ago before we had a dream. It is dream deep rooted in all Sri Lankans. Now this dream has come true. Finally we are free.