SRI LANKANS IN GREATER WASHINGTON AREA
CONTRIBUTE FOR API WENUWEN API FUND
Members of the Sri Lankan community in the Washington,
D.C. area raised thousands of dollars Saturday for a housing program
that will help members of Sri Lanka’s armed forces buy homes.
The July 18 event occurred simultaneously at
the homes of Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and five diplomats
assigned to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington, D.C.
The diplomats invited local Sri Lankans to their
homes to enjoy traditional food and learn about the Ministry of
Defense’s Api Wenuwen Api Ranaviru Housing Project Fund.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s Secretary
of Defence, spoke to the crowded house parties simultaneously
via a Webex internet link. He also answered questions from guests
about the housing program and the successful conclusion of the
nearly 26-year-long conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
“Because of all their hard work, it’s
very important to meet their every need,” Defense Secretary
Rajapaksa said of the armed forces members. “We need to
remember the people who have lost their lives for the sake of
Defense Secretary Rajapaksa thanked those who
gave to the housing project and said that more homes were under
construction for, “our war heroes.” The program also
helps families of soldiers killed in the conflict.
He added that schools with gymnasiums, auditoriums
and computer labs were under construction in the villages of returning
soldiers. The Api Wenuwen Api fund, he said, is the backbone of
The funds are needed because members of the armed
forces have difficulty buying homes without a guarantor. Banks
do not want to risk backing defense personnel, whose lives are
The Api Wenuwen Api Ranaviru Housing Project
Fund takes on the responsibility as the guarantor, and will contribute
1/3 (about US $6000) of the expense of constructing each house.
This fund is not controlled by the government,
but by a Board of Trustees formed under a Parliamentary Act. This
board consists of distinguished persons under the Ministry of
Following Defense Secretary Rajapaksa’s
talk, participants generously wrote checks and signed pledge cards.
The total amount of money raised for the Api
Wenuwen Api fund throughout the U.S. in 2009 now stands at more
Ambassador Wickramasuriya called the evening’s
events the, “perfect private-public partnership. Now that
we have done this, others will be able to do it on their own,
raising even more money for homes for soldiers and their families.”
The Ambassador said that it was possible to raise
$1 million a year to fund the construction of 50,000 new houses
in Sri Lanka.
He said Sir Lankans in the U.S. will also hold
events at their homes to support the Api Wenuwen Api program.
In some cases, generous donors contributed enough to pay for a
whole house. Others teamed together to pay for one house.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
22 July 2009