The dry rations collected through the joint efforts of all Sri Lankan Associations, Sinhala Language schools and individuals to be donated to the affected framing community of New South Wales were handed over to the Lions Club â€œNeed for Feedâ€ unit on 04 October 2018 at a simple ceremony held at the official residence of the Consul General for Sri Lanka in New South Wales and Queensland.
One hundred and fifty boxes of dry rations had been collected.
Mary Lewicka, Deputy Director of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) NSW Office was present at the distribution ceremony together with Lion Keith Stewart, District Governor 201 N3 (Hunter) and Lion Derek Margerison, District Governor 201 N5 (Sydney) and other Lions and Lion Ladies.
Addressing the gathering Sri Lankan’s Consul General Lal Wickrematunge stated that the diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Austrlia reached 70 years last year and that Australia has always extended assistance when natural disasters occurred in Sri Lanka. He said that when Australian farmers were stricken by the drought the Sri Lankan origin community domiciled in New South Wales took the initiative in helping the affected.
Lion District Governor Keith Stewart stated that the assistance extended by the Sri Lankan community in the time of need is much appreciated and that the people will remember the goodwill shown by their fellow Sri Lankans. He stated that working on the ground with the affected farmers, The Need for Feed Programme ensure that the dry rations collected will reach the families directly.
An initiative set in motion on a suggestion made by Mr. Dilip Kumar was seen to a successful conclusion. Ryan Neelam, Actg. Director of DFAT State Office in New South Wales stated that they were â€œtouchedâ€ by this humanitarian gesture of Sri Lankan people.
Consulate General acknowledges all the Sri Lankan Associations including Sri Lanka Association of NSW, Inc., Sinhalese Cultural Forum of NSW Inc., Tamil Senior Citizenâ€™s Association, NSW, Inc., Austra-Lanka Muslim Association, Sri Lanka NSW Catholic Association, Lak Saviya Foundation, The Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka NSW Australia Chapter, Sri Lankan Hoteliers Association, University of Kelaniya Alumni, University of Colombo Alumni, Tharuna Youth Group of Sinhalese Cultural Forum of NSW, St. Benedictâ€™s College Old Boys Association, Royal College Old Boys Association, NSW & ACT, Minto Sinhala School, Blacktown Sinhala School, Newcastle Sinhala School & Community, North Parramatta Sinhala School, and Sydney Sri Lankan Lions Club who joined hands in these efforts