Sri Lanka taps Lover's Day to fight war
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 February 2001, 14:35 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government Wednesday launched "let's love our armed forces" campaign to raise funds for its cash strapped defence establishment. The program was started on Valentine's Day to "foster a bond of love" between soldiers fighting the Liberation Tigers in the north and east and the youth in the other parts of the island, according to the organizers of the campaign.
"By showing our love to the armed forces on Valentine's Day we can boost their morale to win the war" said Mr. Ariya Rubasingha, the Sri Lankan government's Director of Information.
The campaigners collected money in tills and sold red roses, armbands, stickers and music cassettes to passers by on the busy streets of downtown Colombo and suburbs Wednesday.
The campaign is the brainchild of Mr.Mangala Samaraweera, the Minister for Urban Development and Public Utilities. He is a close confidante of the Sri Lankan President. He was instrumental in launching the White Lotus movement six years ago for the same purpose.