Puthukkudiyiruppu Victory Monument: A Symbol of Resilience and Reconciliation

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Sri Lanka’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was a lengthy and complex conflict that lasted for over three decades, from 1983 to 2009. It was one of the longest-running civil wars in modern history, with deep-rooted ethnic, political, and historical complexities.

The conflict stemmed from politically influenced ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese community and the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. The LTTE, a ruthless terrorist organisation, emerged as a militant separatist organization advocating for an independent Tamil state in the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka, which they called Tamil Eelam.

The LTTE employed a combination of killing men, women and children of entire farming villages, murdering Buddhist clergy, suicide bombings, and political assassinations to further their cause. They controlled significant parts of Sri Lanka’s territory in the north and east of the country due to political blunders. By the turn of this century, they had established a de facto state administration, complete with a judiciary, police force, and tax system.

Throughout the years, there were several attempts at peace negotiations and ceasefires, including the 2002 ceasefire brokered by Norway. However, these efforts were often short-lived and ultimately failed to bring about a lasting resolution to the conflict.

The turning point in the war came in 2006 when the Sri Lankan government, under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political leadership and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka‘s military leadership, launched a major military offensive aimed at defeating the LTTE militarily. After a series of intense battles, including the capture of key LTTE-held territories, the Sri Lankan military launched a final assault on the LTTE’s stronghold in the northeastern coastal area of Mullaitivu.

In May 2009, the Sri Lankan military declared victory over the LTTE after the final battle in the lagoon of Nandikadal in Mulativu resulting in the death of the LTTE’s leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Nestled amidst serene surroundings, the Puthukkudiyiruppu Victory Monument stands as a silent witness to one of the most significant chapters in Sri Lanka’s history – the liberation of the civilians of the North and East parts of the country from the clutches of the ruthless terrorists of the LTTE after a brutal war that plagued the island nation for over three decades. Located in Pudukuduirippu, Mullaitivu District, this monument commemorates the decisive victory of the Sri Lankan government forces over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.

The monument is dedicated to the memory of all War Heroes who fought in the Wanni humanitarian operations. The pond surrounding this ‘Victory Monument in Victorious Land’ depicts the blue ocean and the flowers around it the Sri Lankan Nation. Four Lions at four corners of the memorial immortalize the contribution of the War Heroes who came from all four directions to win the final battle. The soldier sculptor who carries a weapon symbolizes the valour and gallantry of soldiers. The National flag on it demonstrates the sovereignty, independence and dignity of the nation. 

Puthukkudiyiruppu Victory Monument carries deep emotional significance for the people of Sri Lanka. For many, it serves as a sombre reminder of the sacrifices made by countless individuals – soldiers, civilians, and families torn apart by war. It honours the memory of those who lost their lives in the pursuit of peace and freedom, their names immortalized in the annals of history.

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Travelling Directions to Puthukkudiyiruppu Victory Monument

Vavuniya to Puthukkudiyiruppu Victory Monument
Through : Puliyankulama – Nedunkeni
Distance : 76 km
Travel time : 1.30 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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