Tourists at the site of the LTTE tank destroyed by PWV recepient Lance Corporal Gamini Kularatne.
David Blacker has a great long read on the Parama Weera Vibushanaya – Sri Lanka’s highest honor for military valor. This is a military award but it’s really about personal bravery, something that transcends any sides or even war. It is very powerful to see the eyes of these men, young boys some of them, and to hear of how they fought and died for honor, their fellow soldiers and country.
War is a tragedy mitigated only when it ends. Within war people end up fighting for their lives and the lives of those around them, political objectives are far away. I would honestly say that soldiers on the LTTE side displayed similar valor, and I think people in the military would recognize this. As they’ve said on defence.lk:
The men and women in the professional arms of the security forces value honour more than anything else. They fight for the cause they believe in and seek honour by contributing towards its realisation. This is the reason that the armed forces personnel are trained to respect the fallen enemy. We do not wish to insult Theepan, Vidusha, Durga, Gadhapi, Gopith, Nagesh, and the rest who died in the recent fighting. Indeed, they were the cream of the LTTE fighting cadre. It is a shame that they had to die for the wrong cause. (defence.lk)
DBS Jeyaraj has a great long read on LTTE warrior Theepan, for reference.
Again, go read Blacker’s piece, it’s long but worth it from start to end. These incredibly young and brave men did die for the right thing but their deaths are no less tragic and sad. I think David sums it up nicely in the last para. It’s worth a read.