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Disabled Soldiers Get Step Motherly Treatment

by Ashanthi Warnasuriya

During the War Heroes commemoration day two weeks ago, a group of war heroes engaged in a sathyagraha at Independence Square. Their family members had also joined them in this protest.

Although they had congregated at Independence square to commemorate their loved ones who had lost their lives during the war, they had to eventually stage their commemoration ceremony at Vihara Maha Devi park together with around 1,000 others gathered there.

With the aim of commemorating the war heroes and invoking blessings on their souls the National Organisations collective, National War Heroes Associations collective and the Global Sri Lanka collective jointly organised the commemoration ceremony on May 20 at 3.30 pm at the Independence Square and while the Global Sri Lanka collective had paid Rs. 7,000 and booked the venue, the Cultural Ministry had later notified them that the ceremony should be stopped and returned their letter of request together with the payment.

They had been notified that the approval to stage the commemoration there had been cancelled and the notification had been signed by the Director General Anusha Gokula Fernando and sent to Attorney-At-Law Nuwan Bellantudawa on May 19. She had explained that the venue at Independence square was been taken for a state war heroes ceremony which would be attended by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

The Global Sri Lanka collective expressed sadness over the refusal by the Cultural Department to stage the war heroes memorial, having legitimately paid for the venue and booked  it in advance. They said the war heroes had sacrificed life and limb to liberate the country from the clutches of the terrorists and bring about freedom in this country.

However, the ceremony which had commenced opposite the Independence square was later staged opposite the Buddha statue at Vihara Maha Devi park. Although the Cultural Ministry had notified that another function was to he held at Independence square, a group of war heroes and family members including Major Ajith Prasanna, Captain Asela Dharmasiri, and war hero Ananda Sirisumana had staged a peaceful protest from 9 am to 3 pm on May 20. Thereafter at 4 pm they had gone to Vihara Maha Devi park to conduct their religious ceremonies. However, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa not Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was present at this ceremony.

According to Major Ajith Prasanna of the War heroes for the Motherland’ organisation they had invited the former President and Defence Secretary not based on any political preference but based on the grounds that they were the leaders at the time who made the war victory possible. The letter sent by the Cultural Ministry too stated that the former President and Defence Secretary were to attend the function. He said the war heroes sacrificed their all to liberate the country not expecting anything in return. However, he said it was disheartening that despite the repeated inquiries from the authorities, no response was received and such treatment of these war heroes who gave so much for this country is very pathetic.

They had been notified that the approval to stage the commemoration there had been cancelled and the notification had been signed by the Director General Anusha Gokula Fernando and sent to Attorney-At-Law Nuwan Bellantudawa on May 19. She had explained that the venue at Independence square was been taken for a state war heroes ceremony which would be attended by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

The Global Sri Lanka collective expressed sadness over the refusal by the Cultural Department to stage the war heroes memorial, having legitimately paid for the venue and booked in it advance. They said the war heroes had sacrificed life and limb to liberate the country from the clutches of the terrorists and bring about freedom in this country.

According to Major Ajith Prasanna of the War heroes for the Motherland’ organisation said they had invited the former President and Defence Secretary not based on any political preference but based on the grounds that they were the leaders at the time who made the war victory possible. The letter sent by the Cultural Ministry too stated that the former President and Defence Secretary were to attend the function. He said the war heroes sacrificed their all to liberate the country not expecting anything in return. However, he said it was disheartening that despite the repeated inquiries from the authorities, no response was received and such treatment of these war heroes who gave so much for this country is very pathetic.

1 Comment for “Disabled Soldiers Get Step Motherly Treatment”

  1. Don

    According to the Chief of Army, the disabled soldiers are getting more than one lakh(one hunddred thousand) of rupees a month in cash other than the housing benefits.He is challenging if anyone is not getting paid as he says, to come and protest in front of Army head office without going to fort with JVP & JO MPs.

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