The Sri Lankan government has launched a fundraising drive amongst Sinhala expatriates in support of its military. The initiative was formally launched Tuesday at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London and is to be continued in other capitals with Sinhala Diaspora. Several businessmen came forward to contribute towards the UK target of GBP 100,000, press reports said. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, Mrs. Kshenuka Seniwiratne, bought the first ticket in a raffle for the project.
Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe, the Defence Attach of the London High Commissioner launched the Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence (MoD) sponsored Api Wenuwen Api initiative on May 6th.
The official website (apiwenuwenapi.co.uk) says the Api Wenuwen Api Fund is collaboration of the Sri Lankan MoD and Central Bank to build 50,000 houses for serving Army, Navy and Air Force personnel.
The gift of housing is one of the best and most tangible ways to demonstrate our gratitude and appreciation, the website urged expatriates.
This is the time for all Sri Lankans to support our brothers and sisters who are committed to bringing peace to our motherland Sri Lanka.
Bigadier Samarasinghe told the gathering at the official launch on Tuesday that 1620 houses of the project are already nearing completion at Ipologama Anuradhapura, according to a report filed by the website of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence.
He said the UK raised money will be exclusively spent for the second phase of the project which would include schools, shopping complexes, a gymnasium and health facilities to be built near Horowpatana.
Sam Chandrasena, owner of the Sam s Chicken outlets in London, pledged GBP 20,000 and donated half the sum at the event, the defence.lk also said.
Mr. Chandrasena said was extremely happy to be part of a movement to help the soldiers who are ready to lay their lives for the motherland, the site quoted him as saying.