The United States, Russia and India have also sent messages of congratulations to Sri Lanka’s navy as it marked its 70th anniversary this week, despite the decades of human rights violations carried out by Sri Lanka’s security forces.
“In the backdrop of terrorist activities started by the LTTE in early 1980s, the Navy, which had hitherto been in charge of ceremonial duties, turned into full-fledged operations,” said the Sri Lankan navy in a message posted on its official website.
“The Navy, which helped the eradication of three-decade- long terrorism on 18th May 2009 in a humanitarian operation, bringing an end to the destructive war, is now shouldering the post-war mission of nation building,” it claimed.
Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in the final phases of the armed conflict, mainly by government shelling. Sri Lankan navy vessels pounded the crowded beaches were civilians were sheltering killing scores.
The United States Pacific Fleet meanwhile said it “takes great pride in its close relationship with the Sri Lankan Navy”. The Naval Attaché of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, Lieutenant Commander Richard Lister met with the head of Sri Lanka’s Navy to mark the occasion and to discuss “several matters of mutual interest”.
“As you celebrate this important occasion, the Indian Navy reaffirms its whole-hearted support for the Sri Lanka navy in every endeavour, and remains committed to working alongside our Sri Lankan partners in jointly tackling the maritime security challenges in our region,” read a message from Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian navy.
“Let us extend our respect, best wishes of prosperity and every success for Sri Lanka Navy on their responsible Duty of ensuring National Security (sic),: said a message from the Military, Air and Naval Attaché from the Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka.
See all three messages below.