Ex-combatants undergoing Rehabilitation participate in Sports Festival in the Eastern Province

A Mega Sports Carnival was held at the Polonnaruwa National Sport Complex on November 5, 2011 for ex-combatants undergoing the rehabilitation at Welikanda & Kandakadu PARCs. The event was organized by the BCGR, Coordinating Offices of Rehabilitation, (Eastern Province) under the guidance of Hon. Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reform and Commissioner General of Rehabilitation (CGR) Major General Chandana Rajaguru.

The sports event provided an excellent opportunity for the youth to develop a healthy competitive spirit and display their talents. They were also able to use this occasion to further develop team spirit and learn to accept both victory and defeat with equanimity. During the festival the youth had the opportunity hone their social skills in preparation for their imminent reintegration in to society.

The different ethnic communities were also able to interact and socialize informally on this occasion.

The Hon. Minister of Prison Reform and the CGR, Major General Chandana Rajaguru were present during the Sports Festival.

Five hundred Ex-combatants, their parents, wives, children, sisters and brothers and nearly 2000 members of the public from the Eastern Province participated in the festival. It was heartwarming to observe the members of the public interacting enthusiastically with the ex-combatants and their families while the sports, games and musical displays kept them all enthralled.

Ex-Combatants teams, National Youth Core teams and Civil Security Department teams participated in Cricket matches, football, volleyball as well as some other games and matches organized during the Festival.

Special sports events were also organized on this occasion for differently-abled Ex-Combatants, children, sisters, brothers and parents.

The Hon. Minister, CGR & Coordinating Officer of Rehabilitation of the Eastern Province distributed the prizes and Certificates to the winners.

The Sports festival concluded with a hugely successful musical performance by the recently established musical group “Friends of Peace” who held their debut performance in Campbell Park, Colombo on October 24, 2001. The group, comprising 25 ex-combatants currently following the rehabilitation programs conducted by BCGR of Eastern Province and selected for their exceptional talent, kept the crowds throbbing away.

Every one present on the occasion appreciated the opportunity afforded to them by Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reform, Hon.Chandrasiri Gajadeera and the ministry officials who made the event a reality.

Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Chandana Rajaguru expressed special thanks to Brigadier K.W.Y.Jayathilake, Coordinating officer of Rehabilitation (East) and all members of the staff for organizing a well coordinated successful event. It was fortunate good weather prevailed enabling the event to proceed without interruptions despite the rainy weather experienced during this season.