SriLankan Cares, a charitable arm of SriLankan Airlines Ltd. last week launched ?We are SriLankan?, a DVD and audio CD by leading Sri Lankan artistes to assist the children in Ampara district by adopting Islamabad Maha Vidyalaya in Kalmunai which was completely destroyed by the Tsunami.
SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Task Force for Rebuilding the Nations (TAFREN) and the Education Ministry to officially assume the responsibility of rebuilding and remodelling of this school.
`This project?s estimated cost is Rs 40 million. All our employees have contributed a day?s salary, which amounts to about Rs. 5. 6 million, to help people affected by the tsunami. This was used to initiate the project.`, K. Balapatabendi, SriLankan Airlines Chairman said at a last week?s launch of ?We are SriLankan?.
He said that the airline has played a major role in assisting Tsunami victims. The proposed school buildings and related infrastructure will enable around 200 children in Kalmunai to attend school again. The airline hopes to advocate more teachers to be assigned to the school and train teachers in computer studies and English at its Human Resource Centre in Katunayake, he said.
This project bears special significance as the people in the region are mostly Tamils and Muslims, highlighting the fact that SriLankan Airlines helps all those in need, irrespective of race, religion, caste or creed. `Prior to this, we also adopted Meepagama Jayanthi Maha Vidyalaya in Ratnapura where the majority of the people are Sinhalese. This project cost the airline around Rs 6 million, Balapatabendi said.
The lyrics of `We are SriLankan` was initially written in English as the corporate anthem of the national carrier in 2003. The composer, Chris Dhason has rewritten the song including Sinhala and Tamil lyrics with the help of Sunil Perera and S. Sarangam to assist the airline in its fund raising efforts. Sohan Weerasinghe, Natasha Ratnayake, Damian Wickramatilake, Derek Wickramanayake, Shobi Perera, Kevin Almeida and Ashanti De Alwis are among those who sing this song.
The DVD and CD will be available at all SriLankan Airline offices, in all music stores and in leading supermarkets islandwide for Rs 1000. The corporate website of the SriLankan airlines www.srilankan.aero will soon have a link for contributions allowing anyone to donate to a worthy cause. Proceeds of the DVD and Audio CD would go towards the rebuilding of the school.
Chandana de Silva, Head of Corporate Communications and Deshini Abeywardena, SriLankan Airlines, Public Relations Manager were also present.