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First Lady Shares New Year Joy with 'Ranaviru Sevana' War Heroes Under Rehabilitation

Inmates at Ragama ‘Ranaviru Sevana’, where differently able War Heroes are rehabilitated and well taken care after their permanent war injuries, took a day off on Thursday (7) and enjoyed a full-day New Year (Aluth Avurudu) festival that brought fun and amusement to them.

Traditional New Year games and fun-making competitions under ‘disable’ and ‘open’ categories dominated the day’s festival programme, organized by the management of the Ragama ‘Ranaviru Sevana’. The day’s sequence of events commenced after soldiers accorded a Guard of Honour to Brigadier R.V Samaratunge, Director ‘Ranaviru Sevana’ and the lighting of the symbolic oil lamp.

Competitions like bun-eating, music chairs, lime balancing, dancing, eye-placement, selection of the New Year prince, cadjan weaving, etc, specially designed only for wheelchair-riding War Heroes at ‘Ranaviru Sevana’ and a number of other typical games and events in the ‘Open’ category for others, drew the attention of the day’s distinguished guests and hundreds of spectators.

In a moving gesture, First Lady Mrs Shiranthi Rajapakse, Chief Guest for the second half of the day’s festival and Mrs Ioma Rajapakse, Chairperson, Ministry of Defence Seva Vanitha Branch were warmly received on arrival by a group of wheelchair-riding War Heroes, amidst welcome greetings extended by Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya, President, Seva Vanitha Army Branch.

The day’s festival marked its end as the prize awarding session set in. Prior to commencement of the award of monumental gifts and souvenirs to the best performers in events, the gathering observed a two-minute silence in honour of all fallen War Heroes, just after the formal welcome address.

Mrs Shiranthi Rajapakse, the Chief Guest began the distribution of gift parcels to the winners after the 3rd phase of the competitions was over. Mrs Ioma Rajapakse and Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya afterwards joined in with Mrs Shiranthi Rajapakse.

Brigadier R.V Samaratunge, Director, ‘Ranaviru Sevana’, recognizing the patronage, extended by distinguished guests and thanking the gracious presence, gave away three mementoes to Mrs Shiranthi Rajapakse, Mrs Ioma Rajapakse and Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya on the same occasion.

Mrs Ioma Rajapakse, Chairperson, Ministry of Defence Seva Vanitha Branch who has been instrumental in the welfare of War Heroes showed a keen interest in learning the routine work of the ‘Ranaviru Sevana’ during her stay for the festival.   

A musical evening, offered by the popular Seeduwa Sakura band at the request of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch  followed into the night and provided entertainment to all those who were present on the occasion. A gathering of popular film idols, vocalists and musicians, mingling with ‘Ranaviru Sevana’ inmates, tuned to the melodies of the Seeduwa Sakura band added colour to the latter part of the day’s programme.

OIC at Ragama Police Station, several leading businessmen and administrators, state officials and a large gathering of invitees witnessed the mammoth festival.