A strongly worded speech from President Mahinda Rajapaksa saying that the rest of the world should learn from Sri Lanka how to fight terror accompanied the display of military might at victory parade held in Colombo on Friday to mark the first anniversary of the end of war against separatist Tamil Tigers.
The one year of victory was celebrated amid increasing international criticism about alleged violation of human rights during the last phase of the war that ended on May 18, 2009.
``We are aware that some countries being battered by terrorism have taken strength from the victories won by Sri Lanka over terrorism. It is time for the countries facing attacks from terrorism to look back and see where they had gone wrong, whereas Sri Lanka has succeeded,’’ Rajapaksa said in his address.
``It is a grave error of judgment to think that while being opposed to terrorism targeting you, to believe that terrorism that is no threat to you is good…The world has so far trod on this wrong path. Terrorism remains unvanquished because of this incorrect thinking. The countries that show sympathy towards terrorism and separatism will be the victims of terrorism. This is the lesson of history,’’ he added.
Besides 9000 military and police personnel, artillery guns, tanks and multi-barrel rocket launchers were displayed in the parade. Disabled soldiers on wheelchairs also joined the parade. Fighter aircraft and helicopters flew over the parade while navy gun ships and attacking crafts sailed along the Indian Ocean coast in view of the city.
The parade was slated for May 18 but was postponed because of incessant rain.