SPUR, NSW Commemorates the Ranaviru Day in Sydney, Australia
Posted on May 23rd, 2016

The Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights in Sri Lanka (NSW).

Ranaviru Commemoration Event was held in Sydney on Saturday 21 May 2016, Australia attended by a large gathering. The event is organised annually by the Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights in Sri Lanka (NSW). This year’s event was held at the Shepherds Bay Community Centre, in Meadowbank, Sydney in calm and picturesque surroundings on the banks of the Parramatta River.

SPUR, NSW is a prominent Sri Lankan organisation active in public advocacy against terrorism in Sri Lanka and against the activities of terrorists overseas.

The Chef Guest at the meeting was Venerable Senapathiye Ananda Thero of Uhana, Ampara and was attended by the Sri Lanka Consul General Mr Lal Wickramatunga.

The evening’s events were conducted with great dignity and respect the defence force personnel who gave their lives in the battle against terrorism and the day’s events commence with the participants observing a minute of silence in their memory.

SPUR, NSW President Dudley Upasiri welcomed the Chief Guest Ven Senapathiye Ananda Thero who travelled from Sri Lanka, the Consul General and thanked them for participating in the important national event.

Ven Senapathiye Ananda Thero gave the five precepts to the Buddhist participants to the and made a short sermon in remembering the supreme sacrifices made by the defence force personnel who sacrificed nearly 27,000 young lives to usher peace to the island.

Next the Christian lay preacher Denver Fernandopulle from Toongabbie made an inspiring speech comparing the lives of the defence force personnel sacrificed their lives for the land and the people they loved to the giving the life of Jesus Chris on the cross.

Lady members of SPUR, NSW then lit the lamps at the specially made dais in remembrance of the fallen.

Dr Sanjeewa Herath made a comprehensive presentation of his time as a student and youth in Kandy, Sri Lanka in the midst of terrorism. He spoke with great emotion of his fellow classmates who joined the   defence forces and sacrificed their youth and all they had – some never came home others were carry major injuries for their life time. He also spoke of the contributions he makes today in the medical field for the rehabilitation of the injured. His speech was complemented with many short video clips of the 30 years of terrorism targeting population centres, Buddhist places of worship in Sri Lanka form the time of the Indian interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka to its debilitating end in 2009.

Nimal Liyanage made a short presentation on the commitment of the Society  , assistance given and work done by the Society over 20 years for the defence forces in their rehabilitation at the Ranaviru Sevana, Ragama and in providing medical equipment to assist in the saving lives of injured defence force personnel in shipping large number of hospital beds, airlifting field ventilators to save those with lung injuries and providing pros thetic limbs. The Society also supported over 50 children from those families from distant villages in Sri Lanka for over 15 years in granting them financial assistance in schooling funded by Sri Lankan donors in NSW. The Society also sponsored the Ranaviruvo 11 member disabled band to tour the capitals in Australia and New Zealand and donated over Rs 2.5 towards the construction of a modern workshop for the manufacturing of prosthetic limbs at Ranviru Sevana.

Ven Senapathiye Ananda Thero then made his key note address as a resident and a pioneering monk in the Ampara District. The Venerable Thero gave an inspiring speech on the sacrifices made by the defence forces in the east and the north, and of the current situation faced by the villagers in the east where big money and political influence are seeking to evict the villagers from their ancestral lands for self-serving commercial projects. He explained at length of the campaign he spearheaded to stop the ejectment of the ancient landholders who had settled in the Panama coast from the time of the 1818 Kandyan Rebellion. The video clips showed the effort the villagers and activists to retain their ancestral land in spite of mounting pressure from public servants and the government.

SPUR Youth President Malin Perera was the compere for the night. Mrs Jayantha Hapukotuwa gave the Vote of Thanks, thanking the Ven Ananda, the Consul General, Christian lay preacher Fernandopulle, the members for Wollongong and  Sydney, all those who made presentation to make the event highly successful, last but not least the large audience turnout numbering over 150 persons. The speaker also reminded the audience of the valuable commitment they have made by not forgetting those young men and women who gave their lives away in the prime of their youth. In closing the Vote of Thanks she invited all participants to a dinner at the venue hosted by SPUR, NSW.

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