New Zealand Sri Lankans commemorate Peace
Posted on June 3rd, 2014

New Zealand Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights of Sri Lanka (SPUR NZ)

On Saturday, the 31 May 2014 Sri Lankans and their well-wishers living in Auckland, New Zealand held a largely attended 5th year commemoration of dawn of peace in Sri Lanka and paid homage to those who sacrificed their lives to secure their mother country for its future generations. The meeting was held at the Senior Citizen’s Hall of the Mt Albert Community Centre in Central Auckland sponsored by the New Zealand Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights of Sri Lanka (SPUR NZ).

The meeting commenced with the religious blessings by Buddhist, Christian and Islam dignitaries.

In a marked contrast to the commemorations in the previous years, it was the youth of the Sri Lankan Community who delivered the key note addresses. Almost all the speakers remembered their harrowing experiences of suffering from the acts of terrorism as school children and how they came to value the dawn of peace after eradicating the terror.

A key note speaker Devinda Mahavithana who migrated to New Zealand with his parents in the midst of the near 30 years of national struggle with the Tiger Terrorists paid homage to the members of the armed forces and noted with utmost reverence the courage and sacrifice made by thousands and thousands of mothers and fathers who sent their children to protect a threatened nation. Commending the annual commemoration by the community he emphasised that we should not forget our bounden duty as expatriate Sri Lankans to help these families in every possible way.

Another youth speaker Chamika Thalakada quoting a patriotic song written by Mahagama Sekera expressed how appropriate it was to call ‘Janma Bhoomi, Vijaya Bhoomi’ – our victorious motherland. He called upon all youths to remember the utmost sacrifices made by the “rana-viru” community and come forward to participate in activities to strengthen supporting them further.

The highlight of the commemoration meeting was the speech given by Anisha Wickramasinghe, the teen-aged daughter of a father and mother who both served in the Sri Lankan Air Force. She remembered the emotional toll of having her father and mother both in active duty endangering their lives away from home every day and how she eagerly awaited their safe return. She said that the dawning of peace had many meanings to her than anyone else.

Wajira Medagoda who also served in the Sri Lankan Air Force during the height of hostilities gave a brief description of his experience to illustrate what peace meant to him.

The commemoration ceremony concluded with the lighting of lamps by all the participants remembering those who lost their lives.

One Response to “New Zealand Sri Lankans commemorate Peace”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Like so many nations who have engaged in wars Sri Lanka has a limited time to record these stories of the lives of the combatants and the victims of the Sri Lankan war. Sri Lanka should and must build a war memorial/museum/education center that not only allows visitors to hear these stories but to see footage of the war, and the dramatic change that war created in Sri Lanka. It could also store items from that war that at this time maybe thought of no value but will be so when the war is a distant memory and these items from military equipment from the Tamil Tigers, the lives of the child slaves they held to the items of the civilian and military personnel who died due to that war.

    It would serve as a national monument that this war should never be forgotten by the generations of Sri Lankans to come.

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