War Heroes will be protected, says President

President Maithripala Sirisena met the Sri Lankan community in New York during his visit to New York to attend the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The event was held at Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission in New York. The President having a chat with one of the Sri Lankans. Picture by Sudath Silva

President Maithripala Sirisena said the government is always fully committed to safeguard honour, dignity and respect of war heroes from top Generals to the last private soldier and they would be provided with every privilege.

The President was addressing Sri Lankans living in the United States at the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to UN in New York on Wednesday.

The President said LTTE terrorists had planned a flight from Tamil Nadu to destroy targets in Colombo as they were on the verge of being defeated at the war front.

He added that he was the senior most politician in the country in May 2009 directing the security forces as acting Defence Minister, in the absence of all other leaders during the last two weeks of the war.

President Sirisena noted that then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Army Commander Sarath Fonseka were out of the country on reports that terrorists were going to attack Colombo.

He added that intelligence reports said that terrorists were planning to operate an aircraft from Chennai or some other jungle in Tamil Nadu to bomb and destroy targets in Colombo.

“I was the acting defence minister for two weeks at the final phase of the war,” the President said.

He said that even he did not stay in Colombo and was in several locations outside Colombo in case the tigers attacked Colombo.

He said there were some incidents investigated during the war as well as after the conflict, but they were not related to war and that cannot be described as hunting war heroes under any circumstance. He said it should not be forgotten that one of the expectations during the last Presidential election campaign was that there should be investigations on these stray incidents and the guilty need to be punished.

“If there are some more such incidents outside the war field, they also should be brought before the law and such actions would also be an honour for real war heroes.Our soldiers are internationally recognised because such mistakes have been rectified,” he said.

The President pointed out that freedom and democracy has been established in the Motherland and not a single journalist was attacked or compelled to leave the country during the last three and a half years.

There are also some victories achieved by the government that are not so visible and the winning back the international support is one such victory, he said and added that his visit to address the 73rd Session of the United Nations General assembly ensured the safeguarding of honour and respect for war heroes.

Although the cost of living has increased due to uncertainties in the international arena the government is taking many steps to enhance living standards of the people.

The efforts made by President Sirisena to protect the honourable image of the Motherland and establish democracy and freedom was highly appreciated by the Sri Lankan community in the United States of America.

The President held a friendly chat with them after the meeting.

 

 

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