North to South Friendship Tour

The rehabilitees presently undergoing rehabilitation at PARC – Poonthottam were not exposed to socio cultural environment of any society to understand its dimensions. Their stagnant intelligence without freedom or peace for many years due to brutal regimentation of LTTE has subdued the spirit of living. In order to engage them with the civil society and to experience the outer extremes of different communities, and to increase mutual undestanding a tour was organized to visit the important places in South. Having experienced the bitterness of war filled with hatred, now they experience the peace filled with Joy.

The friendship tour from North to South was organized for the rehabilitees at PARC – Poonthottam. It commenced on 6th June 2014 and concluded on 9th June 2014.

The route of the journey is Vavuniya – Anuradhapura – Puttalam – Colombo – Galle – Weligama – Hambanthota – Kataragama – Polonnaruwa – Vavuniya

Day 1

Journey to Colombo and visit important places

The rehabilitees visited Viharamahadevi park, the Parliament and the Ape Gama at Battaramulla. They got the opportunity to witness a Parliamentary session. A session was held with Hon Ministers Mr Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Mr Basil Rajapakse and Mr Susil Premejayantha. A Memento and the 'Punaruda Puwath' news magazine was presented to Hon Minister for Economic Development Mr.Basil Rajapaksa & Hon. Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy Mr. Susil Premajayantha.

Day 2

Visit Galle and Journey to Weligama

The Officials and prisoners of Galle Prison warmly welcomed the rehabilitees. A religious ceremony was organized at the Galle Hindu Temple. The breakfast was prepared and served by the Galle Prison. They visited the Galle Fort and was received and conducted by the Galle Heritage foundation. Hon Deputy Minister of Minor Export Crop Promotion Mr. Nishantha Muthuhettigama and Hon MP Dr. Ramesh Pathirana participated at the event.

Arriving to Weligama for the main function, the rehabilitees were received by the Divisional Secretary, Office staff and the public. A day long programme was held under the auspice of Hon Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Mr. Chadrasiri Gajadeera.

With sports to be united Local teams and rehabilitees played Cricket, Volley Ball and had a go at Tug of war. The rehabilitees won the two games exhibiting their morale and the enthusiasm. A Cultural event was organized with different cultural events in the evening filled with music, dances and songs.

Day 3

Journey to Hambantota and Kataragama Sacred city

The rehabilitees visited the historical Dondra Devalaya and also visited the Hambanthota Magampura Habour, the Mirijjawila dry botanical gardens the Mattala Airport and Ranminithanna telecinema Village. In the evening they visited the Kataragama Kiriwehera and had a special sermon in order to be united for a long lasting peace. These events were conducted under the patronage of Secretary to the Ministry Mr. G S Vithanage.

Day 4

Long journey back to Vavuniya

The rehabilitees attended the morning religious ceremony held at Kataragama Devalaya and joined the Kavadi dance session. The rehabilitees thereafter visited Sella Kataragama. They received the blessings of God's prior to their departure to PARC - Poonthotam in the evening.

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