The 23rd National Civilian Bravery Awards to recognise those who saved the lives of others at the risk of their own will be held on June 15.
The event scheduled to be held at 3.30 pm at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre will have 13 ordinary citizens recognised for their acts of bravery between January 1 2016, and December 31, 2016. Three of these candidates are to be recognised in two special categories of ‘The Civilian Bravery Philanthropy Award and the Civilian Bravery Flora/Fauna Award’.
Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya will be the Chief Guest at the event. “In the last 23 years, 300 people have been awarded National Civilian Bravery awards, DIG Legal, Discipline and Conduct Range Ajith Rohana said.
The DIG was addressing a media briefing at the Government Information Department yesterday.
“The awards help encourage ordinary citizens to step up in a time of need, especially during emergency situations where passers-by can do more to recue people, before official rescue teams reach the emergency destination,” he added.
The awards were a brainchild of the Foundation for Civilian Bravery, a non-profit organisation established by Act No. 4 of 2009 to ‘honour civilians who voluntarily risk their lives saving or attempting to save the lives of others’.
“We want to introduce the concept of heroism to society and to have people discuss what that should mean. At times people engage in nefarious activities having thought that, that would make them a hero. Therefore, it is important that we understand what constitutes heroism,” Founder/President of the Foundation for Civilian Bravery Kasun Chandraratne said.
Since 2016, Janashakthi Insurance PLC has been sponsoring the event and this year, Janashakthi Director/CEO Jude Fernando said they received a record number of applications for the awards and hoped to conduct this year’s ceremony in a grander manner than last year.