‘Decade of Peace’ to be commemorated from 19 to 22 May

A four-day ceremony will be held next week to mark the 10-year anniversary of the end of the separatist war, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake said.

Held under the theme ‘Dasawarshabhishekaya’ or ‘Decade of Peace’, a series of ceremonies will be held from 19 to 22 May, Lt. Gen. Senanayake told journalists yesterday (16), to commemorate the fallen.

The main ‘National War Heroes Day’ event, organised by the Rana Viru Seva Authority (RVSA), will be held on 19 May at the Battaramulla War Hero monument at 3.30pm. The commemoration ceremony, to be presided by President Maithripala Sirisena, will see the participation of the families of the fallen and missing from the tri-forces and the police.

The Army Chief further said island-wide ‘Peace Walks’ are planned in all major cities for 22 May, to commence at 8.00am. A ‘Walk for Peace’ with hundreds of their troops covering Colombo, Kandy, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Polonnaruwa and Kilinochchi, together with Divisions, Brigades and all formations under the close supervision of respective Security Force Commanders with the participation of President Sirisena and families of veterans is also planned.

“The forthcoming 18 May 2019 reaches a milestone of a decade upon eradication of the brutal terrorism that plagued Sri Lanka for about 30 years through the Humanitarian Operations. During this decade, Sri Lanka Army contributing to the state machinery for the promotion of national reconciliation and unity in the country has contributed in a unique manner,” the Commander said.

Lt. Gen. Senanayake requested all religious places, state and private sector institutes and residences to light a “lamp of peace” at 7pm on 18 May to mark the occasion.

A coin portraying the Vellamullivaikkal War Heroes’ monument where the war was fought to its conclusion will also be issued, he said, in addition to a commemorative stamp and first day cover displaying the same on 22 May at the BMICH.

The Army’s Parama Weera Vibushanaya (PWV) laureates are set to receive official recognition as National War Heroes upon publication of the book ‘Uttamachaara’, chronicling their achievements on the battlefield, also at the BMICH that day. At the launch of the book, copies of the book will be presented by President Sirisena to the next of kin of  29 PWV laureates, posthumously recognised as National Heroes.

Some 65 senior tri-service officers will also be awarded the Vishista Seva Vibushanaya (VSV) medal on 22 May at 8.30 am at the Presidential Secretariat, again under the patronage of the President.

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