BUREAU OF THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF REHABILITATION
"MINISTRY OF PRISON REFORMS,REHABILITATION, RESETTLEMENT AND HINDU RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS"

Purple Hearts for a wounded medalist (By Camelia Nathaniel in Vavuniya)

There were no shots fired, no grenades exploding, no tanks ripping through the country-side and no choppers landing to evacuate the dying or wounded.

This time the rustic but bustling town of what was once a border crossing at Vavuniya was captured by the arrival of a man who clutched an automatic rifle and grenade pouches hunting down his foes.

He was none other than Pradeep Sanjaya with his world acclaimed bronze medal that he won at last month’s Paralympic Games in London that made him an overnight celebrity, a sporting ambassador and a symbol of a new beginning.

Interestingly those who fought against him now see the wounded soldier as their hero and role model.

“It’s a big honour to see that someone who was wounded at the hands of the LTTE had won a world medal. I am hoping that I can someday do the same”, said an ex-member of the Tamil Tigers who identified himself as Anthony Jesus.

The army hopes that that the history-making Paralympian will be just what the country needs to seal a lasting bond between two forces that a few years ago fought devastating and bloody battles.

(Courtesy - Ceylon Today)