On 30th March 2019, Ms. Madurika Joseph Weninger, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt am Main, Germany attended the ‘Friends of App Lanka’ Programme held in the city of Frankfurt am Main. The Programme was hosted by Mr. Nihal Samarasinghe, Hon. Consul of Sri Lanka for the Federal State of Rhineland Palatinate in Germany.
Appé Lanka is a rural development project, which was initiated in 2015 by Awakening Lanka in partnership with the Sri Lankan Government’s Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs. The project strives to positively impact and uplift the people of Poonakary, who were severely affected during the years of civil war and are gradually regaining a sense of normalcy in their lives.
Ms. Shaan Corea, Founder of the project ‘Appé Lanka,’ spoke on the theme ‘Southerners help Northerners’ with a view to establish reconciliation among different Sri Lankan communities, particularly those residing overseas. Ms. Corea has been reaching out to communities in the villages in the North of Sri Lanka to facilitate critical projects such as providing renewable energy, psychological empowerment, raising awareness and improving livelihood.
Teaching of English to school children, youth and the working population, installation of water purification systems, raising funds to purchase bicycles to keep students in school are some of the ongoing programmes conducted under the project ‘improving livelihood’.
The Consul General in her introductory remarks to the Sri Lankan community said that the top twin priorities of the Government of Sri Lanka are the promotion of initiatives on reconciliation and development in the North and East. The projects undertaken by ‘Appé Lanka’ have so far impacted many lives and supported communities in the North who had dire needs in their basic living conditions. The Consul General also highlighted the visa free entry policy that will be introduced at the beginning of May, 2019, which will help Germans of Sri Lankan origin to visit Sri Lanka without having to apply for a visa. She encouraged them to see for themselves ongoing development work in Sri Lanka and help communities living in the North and East who need their assistance.
All communities of Sri Lankan origin living in the Federal States of Hessen and Rhineland Palatinate participated in the Programme.