President gives away new houses, land titles and scholarships to War Hero families
President Maithripala Sirisena graced the 'Sathviru Abhiman' War Hero welfare programme at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, this evening (22 July 2019).
The national programme saw more than 1500 beneficiaries receive new houses, housing grants, land and educational scholarships provided under several War Hero welfare projects.
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence General (Retd) SHS Kottegoda, WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc received the President upon his arrival at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Making the welcome address the Secretary Defence said that War Heroes should always be remembered and their services and sacrifices should be recalled with gratitude. He said that the war heroes should remembered eternally and not when the untiring efforts of the tri forces and Police are seen at a crisis situation. This gesture of remembering the sacrifices of the Armed forces needs to be practiced as a nation and it’s the duty of every citizen to uphold them in their thoughts and show gratitude with a warm heart. He attributed the fact that Sri Lanka remains as a top tourist destination amidst the Easter Sunday Attacks to all the tri forces, intelligence, police and Civil Defence personnel who took much dedication, true commitment and hard work to restore peace and eliminate the immediate threat on national security promptly. Elaborating on the welfare initiatives for War Heroes and their families, he said that the benefits presented to them at today’s programme alone is worth more than 710 million rupees.
Addressing the gathering the President paid gratitude to the services of the War Heroes and recalled their great services and sacrifices in protecting the country and said it should always be respected and appreciated. He also noted that all facilities and resources will be provided to the tri forces by the government.
Since the end of war the tri forces have involved in national development, agricultural projects, construction sector, disaster relief and other public welfare programmes and have also made breakthrough technological innovations in their own facilities using their human resources, skills and expertise. The President also mentioned of the role of the tri forces in producing Reverse Osmosis water treatment plants as a preventive measure to the spread of chronic kidney disease.
The role of the tri forces, police and civil security department personnel in dealing with the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bomb attack also came under praise of the President. The government and the security forces had taken all steps in this regard. Special preventive measures were taken to deal with the recurrence of such unexpected terrorist attacks, and our tri force and police were able accomplish something that no other nation was able to achieve by destroying terrorism, he said. Recalling the terror attacks he said that the memories of the victims will always remain with us just like the memories of all the War Heroes and civilians who had died during the war.
Under the mega 'Sathviru Abhiman' programme, beneficiaries were presented with full and partial housing grants for the construction of new houses or complete work on partially-built houses. During the ceremony the President presented 25 completed houses to the families of fallen War Heroes and disable War Heroes. These houses have been constructed with funds worth Rs. 37.5 million from the Api Venuwen Api fund. However, this amount does not include the labor, machinery and other expenses bourn by the Army which carried out the project. The cost of the complete project is more than Rs. 50 million.
In addition, 925 War Heroes received assistance to complete their partially-built houses while 246 War Heroes received state land to build houses. 308 children of War Heroes who had excelled at the Grade 5 scholarship exam were also presented with financial assistance under the 'Virusisu Pradeepa' project, for further education.
From 2010 up to date 2917 new houses have been built while 4487 partly built houses have been completed since 2014 for War Hero families. The total of 7404 houses have been built under the housing project.
Presidential Secretary, Secretary to the State Ministry of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, senior Defence Ministry officials, tri forces commanders, acting IG, Director General of the Civil Defence Department, senior tri forces officers, distinguished guests and a large number of tri forces personnel and their families were also present at the occasion.