19th May 2017 19:57:50 Hours
Gallantry of War Heroes of the Tri-services and the Police received a deep veneration during this year’s National War Hero (Ranaviru) Commemoration Day’s solemn ceremony, held this evening (19) at the Ranaviru Monument, Battaramulla Parliament ground, dignified by the presence of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces as the Chief Guest.
May 19 every year has been dedicated for 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.
The event, held in high esteem by all Sri Lankans who are enjoying fruits of today’s elusive peace, got underway seconds after the arrival of the day’s Chief Guest, HE the President Maithripala Sirisena.
The annual ceremony, organized by the Rana Viru Seva Authority (RVSA) 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.
Mrs Anoma Fonseka, Chairperson, Rana Viru Seva Authority, together with the State Minister of Defence and the Secretary Defence, Eng Karunasena Hettiarachchi received the Chief Guest, HE the President on arrival before he was conducted to the venue in a procession.
Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Governor for Western Province, State Minister of Defence, Secretary to the President, Secretary Defence, State Secretary of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Army Commander, Navy Commander, Air Force Commander and Rana Viru Seva Authority Chairperson, Mrs Anoma Fonseka and a host of invitees were present at the ceremony.
Mrs Fonseka welcomed all distinguished guests 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 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 slain ground commanders and service chiefs and beloved next of kin of fallen War Heroes followed suit and paid their homage in succession.
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 solemn moment with moving scenes that touched everybody present 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 bringing tears.
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 became more sensitive. The Reveille beamed marking the culmination of the formal ceremony. 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 during the 30-year long terrorism.