Asserting that the fall of the LTTE has debunked the myth that it is an "invincible war machine", Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said it was important to protect the freedom earned by the armed forces.
"The national flag flutters all over the country today and this was the first time that I am addressing a public rally with thousands of national flags displayed," Rajapaksa told a gathering of over two lakh people in Colombo on Friday.
"We should remember that the freedom to hoist the flag from Dondra Head to Point Pedro was given to us by thousands of our valiant armed forces who had sacrificed their lives to liberate the country," he said on the success over the LTTE.
Rajapaksa also told the rally, held to felicitate the Sri Lankan armed forces, that the people of the country stood behind the decision to "defeat terrorism".
"When the decision to defeat terrorism was made I had to face obstacles of the terrorists and their supporters at home and abroad and I had to debunk the myth that the terrorist group was an invincible indomitable war machine," he said.
Calling upon the people to "protect the freedom" the army has "won for us", the President said the next challenge before the government is to ensure the development of the country.
"I assure you that I will fulfill that task just as I fulfilled the task of defeating terrorism. But like during the humanitarian operations, I need the cooperation of the public," he said.