The only way to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the world is to understand its true nature and fight it for what it is, instead of giving terrorism various definitions and tags, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated yesterday.
The President said, as a leader of a country which had defeated terrorism, he hoped that the world would understand this reality.
“Does not matter where it happens, be it in Asia, Arabic countries or anywhere in the world, terrorism is terrorism,” the President stressed.
President Rajapaksa made these comments in his speech as the Chief Guest at the presentation of the President’s and Regimental Colours to the Sri Lanka Artillery.
The event was held at Artillery Regiment’s base in Panagoda. Addressing the soldiers, the President said although Sri Lanka had successfully defeated terrorism, some countries were yet groping in the dark in their quest to defeat the scourge. He said that even today bombs were going off in cities of some powerful nations.
The President pointed out that Sri Lanka had silenced the guns of terrorists in 2009 and since then Eelamist’s have realized that they cannot divide the country by the force of weapons.
“However, terrorist remnants now residing in other countries were resorting to new tactics to divide the country,” he noted.
The President said his government will never allow anyone to take up weapons against the country and shall not leave room for anyone to divide the motherland.
“The people should have complete faith and confidence that the land that was liberated from terrorism through great sacrifice of life will not be handed over to the forces of separatism again,” he declared.
Addressing the Gunners of the Regiment, the President said, although Sri Lankans’ first saw Artillery guns in 1505 when the Portuguese invaded the island, they were not not taken aback. Instead in a few years the Lankans had designed their own artillery guns and had used them successfully against the enemy, he described.
However, he lamented that when fighting against the LTTE, Sri Lanka had to seek foreign help largely to get weapons. “We need to do research and as Sri Lankans’ we should produce what we need in our own soil. This is how we can add value to our hard won peace,” he added.
About the Artillery Gunners, the President said that they had played a major role and had contributed to save many lives during the war against terror.
“In this quest the regiment had lost 23 officers and 529 personnel from other ranks,” he remarked. In addition many were injured, some permanently,” he added. He said that their sacrifices will be remembered for ever.
He said Artillery Gunners were a symbol of a nation and that their performances at national events always invokes pride.
He called the awarding of President’s and Regimental Colours as a proud achievement of the Artillery Regiment in its long and illustrious journey and a fitting tribute to their service and sacrifice. “There is no other befitting time for the Regiment to be presented with President’s and Regimental Colours than when it is celebrating its 125th Anniversary,” he added.