08th January 2016 00:54:10 Hours
467 more completed and newly-built houses for War Heroes under the Phase-II - 2015 of the ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ Ranaviru Housing Scheme of the Ministry of Defence were formally vested in the recipients Thursday (7) afternoon during a ceremony, headed by Hon Ruwan Wijewardene, State Minister of Defence representing HE the President who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The ceremony at the Defence Services College auditorium in Colombo 2, attended by Commander of the Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders saw 69 War Heroes in Hambantota District, 51 War Heroes in Sampathnuwara receive complete new houses while 347 more War Heroes were the beneficiaries of partly-funded new houses under Phases-IV and V of the ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ Ranaviru Housing project of the Ministry of Defence.
37 Army personnel, 19 Sailors and 13 Airmen in Hambantota District who had actively contributed to restoration of peace in Sri Lanka during the humanitarian operations, accepted keys to those new houses from the Chief Guest at the ceremony at the beginning of the ceremony.
Those new houses were erected in blocks of land, owned by recipient War Heroes themselves but the total construction work was carried out by Tri service personnel using their labour and technical know-how.
Under the same project, 51 War Heroes (45 Army, 4 Navy and 2 Air Force) War Heroes were gifted new houses in ‘Sampathnuwara’ Housing Scheme in Mullaittivu District.
Minister Ruwan Wijewardene during the ceremony symbolically handed over the keys to those beneficiaries in the presence of a distinguished gathering including Governors, Secretaries, Defence Secretary, State Secretary for Ministry of Defence, Senior Officials, Commander of the Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders and a section of officials and officers representing tri-services.
347 recipients on the same occasion received documents, related to the completion of their partly-built houses that had been funded by ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ project. Those houses erected by War Heroes remained partly-completed at the time the project intervened, realizing their financial constraints and assisted the completion by providing necessary funds.
In the past few years after the culmination of the war, a dozen of such housing projects were effectively completed by the Ministry of Defence in Kandy, Puttlam, Kurunegala, Matara, Hambantota, Moneragala, Badulla, Galle, Ampara, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kalutara, Kegalle, Polonnaruwa, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Colombo and Anuradhapura Districts, providing decent and deserving state-of-the-art houses to War Heroes of the Armed Forces.
Ministry of Defence which launched the ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ fund and the housing project with generosity, being extended by each and every Sri Lankan and the expatriate community, maintains that invaluable sacrifices of valiant War Heroes on behalf of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Nation, should always be held in high esteem by rewarding them in whatever the way possible.
Widows, children, parents and next of kin of fallen War Heroes, relatives of disable recipients and a gathering of invitees including tri-service senior officers were present at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, the new house recipients in the ‘Sampathnuwara’ Housing Scheme received gas cookers, as incentives during a separate event held on Sunday (10) at the scheme premises in Welioya.
Major General Boniface Perera, Commander, Security Force Headquarters-Wanni (SFHQ-W) gave away those gas cookers, sponsored by Singer Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.
Meanwhile, Major General Perera unveiled a war heroes’ monument in the Housing Scheme premises as a tribute to the memory of their heroic acts.
Divisional Secretary Welioya, Mahaweli Project officers, senior officers and families of house recipients attended the event.