Award of monetary grants to 23 affected families who had lost a child of their family, either in warfare or terrorist violence and the distribution of 93 cattle among Kilinochchi civilians, took place concurrently at the ‘Harmony Centre’ during a brief and colourful ceremony, headed by Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army who was the Chief Guest.
Screening and confirming the identities of those rightful owners before documents were processed for return of their lands and award of financial grants to those aggrieved families were done by the SFHQ-KLN in collaboration with the District Secretariat for Kilinochchi, Ministries of Resettlement, Rehabilitation and different other state agencies,
The Army gave away Rs 1 lakh each to 23 affected families whose children, have fallen victim to the warfare before May 2009 purely on humanitarian grounds and as a move towards harmony and reconciliation. The move was poised to improve economic and living standards of those families since they were without one breadwinner in the family. Ministry of Rehabilitation in response to a request made by the Army had made grants available for award of such assistance.
Distribution of 93 cattle, which the Army received as a gift from an estate owner in the Kurunegala district, also took place in the Harmony Centre premises a at the request of the Commander, SFHQ – KLN. The visiting Army Commander symbolically handed over few of those animals to civilians, engaged in animal husbandry in the area with a view to helping their economic conditions. The cows, each worth Rs 30,000/- approx. were transported by the Army to the homesteads of the recipients after the ceremony was over.
The visiting Commander, together with Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, SFHQ – KLN afterwards responded to several Media queries, presented by a group of journalists, including those from the North.
The Commander speaking to them said that the Army wholeheartedly wants to assist them to improve their lives and also to promote ethnic harmony and reconciliation.
He called upon the Media to support this endeavour and help to apprehend those trying to destabilize the country and to safeguard hard-won peace in the North.