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Lankan 'war heroes' to be gifted houses

T V Sriram in Colombo | November 10, 2008 18:10 IST

As part of incentives and rewards for gallant defence personnel who are serving in the forward areas of the LTTE [Images] strongholds, the Sri Lankan government has decided to donate 100 houses to select 'war heroes'.

The Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order will donate houses to 100 war heroes of armed forces to mark the completion of three years in power by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces besides being the Defence Minister.

The 100 brave 'heroes' of the Army, Navy and Air Force would be selected from among those who are serving in the forward areas of the (LTTE stronghold of) Wanni 'to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka' [Images], an official release said.

'Acting on an idea of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Ministry will make this donation to the selected war heroes who had displayed the highest standards of gallantry at the battlefield,' it said.

It may be recalled, in June the country honoured its fallen war heroes in a ceremony presided by President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka at the Parliament Complex.

The 'Ranaviru Day' is dedicated to pay tribute to the soldiers of the three armed forces and police who have died in the war ravaging the North for decades.

At least 200 soldiers and police personnel were killed in clashes with the LTTE in September, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka said.

Reports also said that during October about 171 Sri Lankan Security Forces were killed and many others injured as the war with the tiger rebels reached a decisive stage.

Sri Lankan President, who is also the Finance minister has proposed to allocate Rs 3000 million (Sri Lankan rupees) in 2009 budget to rehabilitate LTTE members joining the democratic stream.

The Island government has also proposed to hike defence spending to a record $1.6 billion during 2009 to fund the campaign against the Tigers.

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