Free AbaY Lunch …..

Peraliya (Sri Lanka), Dec 26: Sri LankaA?a??E?s President Mahinda Rajapakse today led the nation in paying homage to the victims of the tsunami disaster and pledged to introduce a “new dynamism” in reconstruction work which he admitted was moving slowly.

After observing two-minute silence to show respect to an estimated 31,000 people who perished in the catastrophe that hit the island nation last year, the President said the aid distribution had been less than satisfactory.

“Have we been able to do maximum justice to those who sacrificed their lives as victims of this tragedy? Have we been able to carry forward the great strength our people demonstrated just after the tragedy?” Rajapakse asked. “It is my belief that we are unable to answer both these questions to our satisfaction.”

Launching a new initiative called A?a??E?Jaya LankaA?a??E? which seeks to bring all reconstruction-related institutions under one umbrella, Rajapakse said he would introduce a “new dynamism” into rebuilding tsunami-hit coastlines.

The main official tsunami commemorative ceremony was conducted at the Jinaratana Maha Vidyalaya School in Peraliya, 95 km south of Colombo, which was also submerged by last yearA?a??E?s tsunami.

The government also released four commemorative stamps to mark the first tsunami anniversary.

In the eastern coastal town of Arugam Bay, one of the worst affected areas, residents offered free lunch to people still without homes. (Agencies)

Published: Monday, December 26, 2005

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