Members of the Sri Lanka National squad, Niroshan Dikwella, Sachith Pathirana, Thisara Perera and Dilshan Munaweera led by veteran spinner Rangana Herath visited the victims of the Meethotamulla tragedy at the Terrance de Silva Vidyalaya in Kolonnawa this morning.
The cricketers spent some quality time with the victims, chatting about their lives and aspirations. A donation of 4 ‘Entertainment Centres’ made up of 40” televisions and a DTV connection each were made to the relief camp, affording the residents an opportunity to spend a little time away from the mental anguish and stress of the catastrophe.
Speaking during the visit, Rangana Herath expressing the solidarity of the national cricketers with the victims stated, “Every man, woman and child here supports us in every game we play. Every flag you wave, every Sri Lanka T’shirt you wore gave us the strength and support to do our best for our country. We want you to know that we are with you. Your pain is our pain, since you supported us it is our duty to support you in time of calamity. Cheer your favourite team when watching a cricket match, take a break with a soap opera or a movie, or give the little ones a chance to forget the scariness of the big, big world by watching a few cartoons – we just want you to have an opportunity to forget even for a few minutes the hardships of life.”
Sri Lanka Cricket’s charity arm, Cricket Aid organized the donation on the initiative of its President Thilanga Sumathipala. He stated, “We are One Team One Nation. Sri Lanka has had her share of tragedy with the Civil War, the Tsunami, Drought, Floods and various other natural disasters, still our people smile. They still hope, and they still live. We are a small island with a big heart, and we at Sri Lanka Cricket want to do our part to support the people who always support us – that’s the mandate of Cricket Aid.”
SLC CEO, Ashley de Silva who also joined the cricketers together with SLC Management and staff added, “In the game of cricket, mental strength and preparation is the key to victory. We believe very strongly that it is the same with life. When Cricket Aid was first launched in 2004, we brought in the support of the Greencross Foundation to provide physiological help to the victims. We have taken a first step at helping those affected by this disaster psychologically by providing some form of diversion in these entertainment centres , but we hope to provide assistance with counselling in the future.”