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Foreign Minister highlights the destructive impact of terrorism on civilian life

(December 24, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) "Everybody who leaves home for his or her work place expects to return home safely. However, the destructive impact of the evil force of terrorism on civilian life in Sri Lanka has meant that no longer can we take this for granted". These remarks were made by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at a simple function held at the Foreign Ministry today (23rd December 2008) to hand over Fixed Deposit Certificates, worth Rs.1.2 million to the two sons of the late Mrs. Priyani Ranasinghe, a former staff member of the Ministry who lost her life in the LTTE terrorist bomb attack on a commuter train in Dehiwala on 26th May 2008.

The Minister speaking further said that, "such incidents, unfortunately have become all too common in the country, since terrorists do not have any respect for the sanctity of human life. This is the reason that President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Government has embarked on a campaign to defeat the scourge of terrorism that has plagued the country. There are many forces, which are placing obstacles in realizing this objective. However, the Government is determined to fulfil its commitment to eradicate terrorism, in order to safeguard the lives of civilians. Therefore, it is important that we keep reminding ourselves constantly on occasions of this nature of the cruel hand of terrorism that has robbed Sri Lanka of thousands of innocent lives".

The Foreign Minister also pointed out that terrorism had claimed the lives of two of his predecessors, Lakshman Kadirgamar and Ranjan Wijeratne, and during this year itself, two former Ambassadors, namely Major General Janaka Perera and Dr. Raja Johnpulle had fallen victim to LTTE terrorism.

Minister Bogollagama, referring to the generous financial contribution made by members of the staff of Sri Lankan Missions abroad towards the scholarship fund that has been set up for the education and welfare needs of the two children of the late Mrs. Ranasinghe, namely Ranindu Gimhan Perera Jayawardana and Thisal Anjula Perera Jayawardana, aged 13 years 9 years respectively, said that no amount of financial assistance will compensate them for the loss of their beloved mother. He thanked all staff members of the Sri Lankan Diplomatic Missions who had made personal donations towards this noble and worthwhile cause, stating that it was a tangible expression of their strong solidarity with people in distress. This is also an indication of the people oriented Foreign Policy approach of the Government. The Minister expressed his hope that Mr. Garvin Jayawardana the husband of Mrs. Ranasinghe would shoulder the responsibility of looking after the two little children, in the absence of their mother and provide them with a sound education so that they would bring credit to the family.

Mr. Jayawardana speaking on the occasion, thanked Minister Bogollagama and Mrs.Deepthi Bogollagama for their personal initiative in arranging this substantial financial assistance, which would be beneficial for his children's educational and day to day needs. He also expressed his profuse thanks to the Minister for responding promptly and taking action to obtain admission for his younger son to the Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa.

Director General/ Public Communications Division, A.M.J. Sadiq and Director General / Overseas Administration Division, W. Hettiarachchi of the Ministry also addressed the gathering. Acting Secretary, Jayantha Palipane and members of the staff of the Foreign Ministry were present on the occasion.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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