On the 20th of November, 2010, 50 families of Periyakulam village received the keys to their new homes. It was a very joyful day, not only for the villagers who received brand new homes, it was a also very joyful day specially for Bhante Y. Wimala who chose to rebuild this particular village and was personally involved in every step of the construction process until the day of dedication. Mr. Perera and his family, who are the sponsors of the reconstruction project, were also present to rejoice in this happy moment.
The Periyakulam village was completely destroyed by war. The villagers had no homes when they retuned at the end of war. The families who are farmers set up small huts and got settled. Out of fifty families that received homes 15 families were headed by single mothers. Some of their husbands had died in the war and others were in prison after the fighting.
The total cost of the reconstruction of the 50 homes was paid by Mr. Perera and his family. With the leadership of area military commanders, Brig. Napagoda and Brig. Ranawaka, the military built roads, cleared the land and organized the opening ceremony. The government provided some clearing equipment, electricity and other logistic support. It took only three months to complete the rebuilding of the village according to Bhante’s vision and under his tireless supervision.
The grand opening ceremony, organized with the help of the military, was attended by the Governor of the Northern province Gen. Chandasiri, the GA (Government Agent) Mrs. Charlse, the Rishad Bathiudeen, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and area commanders of the Army, Navy, STF (Special Task Force) and Police.
The Periyakualm village reconstruction program also included:
- A Hindu Temple for the village
- One Agricultural well for farming
- Twenty cows for the livelihood assistance program
- Road and land clearing
- A small park area for the villagers located in the entrance to the village
After the successful completion of rebuilding two war ravaged villages prior to this one, Bhante decided to rebuild a third village for Tamil people. He visited many villages in northern Sri Lanka that were destroyed by war. Periyakulam village was chosen for several good reasons. First, fifteen families were headed by single mothers. Second, most of the families who lived here were fighters who fought with the government army for many years. Bhante’s desire to show by example that the war is over and it is time for reconciliation, forgiveness and reintegration was the main reason to choose this particular village.
This project was single handedly managed by Bhante’s driver Sidath who has worked with him for 7 years in Sri Lanka. Keeping direct contact with Sidath on an almost daily basis, solving problems and overcoming many challenges working with many contractors and suppliers, Bhante was able to complete work on the project in three months. Our gratitude first goes to Sidath for his hard work and dedication. Our sponsor Mr. Perera and his son are two angels to these poor families who were homeless and now have both homes and hope. The military commanders Brig. Napagoda, Brig. Ranawaka and the government agent Mrs. Charlse who provided their help are also greatly appreciated.