A commendable gesture
The unprecedented keenness shown
by Sri Lankans domiciled abroad in the affairs of their
Motherland in recent times certainly augurs well for the
Not only is this seen in almost all spheres affecting the
country’s interests but has also extended to the area of our
Armed Forces where more and more assistance seems to be pouring
in for soldiers’ welfare.
It is not merely an expression of solidarity with our valiant
men and women risking their lives to protect the Motherland but
it could be seen as a spontaneous response to the unprecedented
battlefield success of the Armed Forces.
Their sentiments could have also sprung from a sense of
finality perceived in the on going war.
This would also act as great morale booster to the men on the
battlefield now well on their way to finish off the LTTE.
It in this light that the patriotic gesture by Sri Lankans
domiciled in the US to donate Rs.12 million towards the Api
Wenuven Api programme dedicated to assisting our soldiers should
It is hoped this would prove a catalyst for more and more
such assistance pouring into the Government’s efforts to provide
for the welfare of our soldiers fighting to protect the unity
and territorial integrity of the country.
According to our news report yesterday, the Ranaviru
Sangamaya set by Sri Lankans resident in the US had collected
this money by staging charity cultural and music shows.
On earlier occasions too it had made various contributions
towards the welfare of the war heroes. On this occasion the
funds will be channelled towards the ongoing project to build
5,000 houses for members of the Forces in Ipologama.
This is certainly the first time we hear of an organisation
set up abroad by Lankans solely dedicated to our soldiers. It
could no doubt have sprung from a feeling that the war is at a
decisive phase and the need for a redoubled effort to encourage
our soldiers to achieve a final victory.
It is indeed gratifying to note the concern shown and support
extended by Lankans settled down overseas towards our valiant
soldiers in this manner.
This would go a long way towards eliminating the image in the
eyes of the ordinary people of Lankans settled abroad being
unpatriotic and unconcerned individuals living in clover while
their fellow countrymen make sacrifices on behalf of the
This new fervour for the country and particularly the welfare
of the Armed Forces among our expat Lankans may serve to bridge
this gulf and mark a rallying point for all Sri Lankans to unite
under one banner to share in the impending victory of our
Perhaps the constant appeals made by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa to Sri Lankans domiciled abroad to contribute their
mite towards the country’s forward march may have struck a ready
chord collectively among our overseas Lankans prompting them to
think anew of their role towards the Motherland.
One recalls the President’s call to Lankan professionals
living abroad to contribute their talents and expertise in
relation to the gigantic development projects undertaken by the
From the response that is being received it could be said the
President had certainly succeeded in rekindling the sense of
patriotism among our Lankans of all strata living abroad.
The unprecedented contributions coming in the way of our
soldiers from overseas Lankans is also a sure indiction that
they are now part and parcel of the Sri Lankan community though
separated geographically, sharing in the victories achieved by
our valiant men and women on the battlefront.
The Government should lose no time in cultivating this new
sense of unity of our Lankans domiciled overseas which could
even serve as a strong counter to sections of the Tamil diaspora
actively engaged in raising funds for the LTTE. It could be
gradually be converted into a strong lobby that would keep the
Sri Lankan flag flying high overseas.