Together for All
Our front page caption story yesterday showing a
conscientious citizen handing over a cheque for Rs.100,000
towards the Api Wenuven Api Fund to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa, demonstrates there are people with a heart who have
not abandoned our valiant men on the battlefield.
According to Tamara Nilanthi who made this donation the money
was set apart for a trip to India by her parents. However they
decided to donate it for this worthy cause.
It is hoped that Nilanthi’s gesture would stir the conscience
of others too to contribute their mite towards this Fund set up
to meet the material requirements of our soldiers. Hopefully it
would also be a catalyst for focusing more and more on the role
of our men on the battlefront.
We say this because today many have abdicated our
responsibity towards our heroes laying down their lives for the
motherland. Most of us continue as if there is no conflict let
alone the sacrifices made by our troops.
Reports of deaths of soldiers on the battlefield barely
register with some of us who are too busy with our partying and
carousing. Come a tour by a foreign cricket team the entire
nation comes to a standstill. It is only a bomb or some major
attack in the city that jolts us into the realisation that there
is war being waged in another part of the country.
This feeling though is short lived lasting until the next
incident. It is no exaggeration to say that the prolonged
conflict and its protracted nature has anaesthetized a majority
of us to brutality and violence. Nay it has rid us of all
feeling, concern and sentiment. Hence this casual laid back
Very few are even acquainted with the trials and tribulations
of the men on the battlefield. Some corporate bosses make token
contributions to salve their conscience with an eye of
It is in this context that the donations made by the likes of
Nilanthi are invaluable. More than anything it carries a genuine
empathy with our heroes doing battle. It is also a wake up call
to others whose attitudes are marked by a total lack of concern
to the sacrifices of our troops.
The upcoming festive season will once again manifest this
attitude, with a majority caught up in the festive mood. Going
by the many advertisements and blurbs in the press and
electronic media this year won’t be any different to the others
and all is set for a grand ball. No doubt the fighting in the
North will be furthest from the minds of the city folk come
December which is the month of revelry and celebration.
We are certainly not killjoys who are hell bent on dampening
the spirit of Yuletide. We are not suggesting that all should
wear sombre looks and sport gloomy countenances. However, there
is a need to be circumspect in these times.
Those rejoicing should give a thought to the fact that they
are allowed their indulgences because of the grit and valour of
our heroic men who are preventing a marauding band of terrorists
from spoiling their party.
They should also spare a thought for the innocent villages in
the vulnerable regions who are braving the threat of the
terrorists so that most of us could carry on with our merry way.
Our soldiers need all the moral support as at no other time
in the history of this conflict now that they are poised to
annihilate the enemy. Mere material contributions alone would
not give them this sense of upliftment.
We should show them by our attitudes that we are with them in
their hour of peril. This is why austerity is called for. No
doubt a show of sensitivity towards their sacrifices would go a
long way in injecting fresh spirit among our heros egging them
on to give their all towards eradicating terrorism.
Let this be the beginning of ‘giving’ to our valiant men who
have given us our freedom, by sacrificing their lives, for our
tomorrow. Let this gesture also be a beginning where all of us
though not in body at least in spirit be with our heros sharing
in their sacrifices and bonded in empathy.