Remembrance Day (Sri Lanka)

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Remembrance Day
Official name Rana Wiru Commemoration Day
Also called Victory Day (2010–2014)
Observed by Sri Lankans
Type End of the Sri Lankan Civil War
Significance Commemorates the war dead
Observances Parades, silences, cultural show
Date 18 May
Frequency Annual

Remembrance Day (Sinhala: ජාතික රණවිරු සැමරුම් උළෙල Jāthika Raṇaviru Sæmarum Uḷela) also known as the Rana Wiru commemoration day in Sri Lanka marks the capitulation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the end to the Sri Lankan Civil War on 18 May 2009. The day is a war heroes commemoration day as well as a remembrance day for civilians who died in the war from both sides. The celebrations are marked by a military parade, speeches and a moment of silence. From its inception in 2010 to 2014 the day was known as Victory Day, under President Mahinda Rajapaksa, but from 2015 onwards the day has been renamed Remembrance Day by President Maithripala Sirisena.[1][2][3]


The Sri Lankan Civil War was an armed conflict fought between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, aka Tamil Tigers) and the Government of Sri Lanka. With the end to the war, the 18th May 2009 marked a day of celebration around the island. The celebrations of 1st anniversary were presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose government won the war. The celebrations were commemorated as Victory Day, a celebration of the triumph of the armed forces against terrorism in the country, and continued under the same name until 2015. The newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena renamed the day to Remembrance Day to "mark the sacrifices made by all those, who irrespective of their ethnicity, safeguarded the unity and territorial integrity of the country". The day also recognises all civilians who died in the war. The day is a step towards the reconciliation between all communities in the country.[1][2][3]

Commemorations for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are not permitted.[2][3]


# Date held Location Presided by
1st 18 June 2010 Galle Face Green, Colombo Mahinda Rajapaksa
2nd 27 May 2011 Galle Face Green, Colombo
3rd 19 May 2012 Galle Face Green, Colombo
4th 18 May 2013 Galle Face Green, Colombo
5th 18 May 2014 Matara
6th 19 May 2015 Matara Maithripala Sirisena
7th 18 May 2016 Battaramulla, Colombo
8th 19 May 2017 Battaramulla, Colombo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sri Lanka shift on civil war anniversary". BBC. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "May 19th – No more Victory Day, Only 'Remembrance Day'". Asian Tribune. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Jayasekera, Sandun. "May 19 is Remembrance Day: Rajitha". Retrieved 23 June 2015.