08/05/2014 – Colombo, Sri Lanka – A booklet titled “My Story” which contains stories from various members of public on their first Red Cross experience was launched today (8th May 2014) at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute in Colombo, in view of World Red Cross Red Crescent Day 2014.
23 stories from all parts of Sri Lanka from various individuals written in their mother tongue depicts their personal experience of how they came to know about Red Cross and how the Society has changed their lives. Various individuals have come to become part of the Red Cross Society or working in other fields. They are from various age groups and ethnicities yet having a similar experience in their humanitarian service.
The first book was awarded to the National Secretary of Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Nimal Kumar by the Director General of Sri Lanka Red Cross Tissa Abeywickrama at a ceremony held in Colombo.
Addressing the gathering the Director General reminded everyone that despite the idea of Red Cross is over 150 year’s old, the responsibility of its true nature still lies with all of us.
“The need for an organization like Red Cross began upon a war way back in 1859; however in Sri Lanka we too have experience such a conflict where it’s our responsibility to help the people who are impacted by various disasters and conflicts and to ensure that they have the right towards a dignified life”
Here’s the full speech from the Director General of Sri Lanka Red Cross.
In 1859 witnessing the mega-scale human killings, wounded and other adverse consequences of the bloody war of Solferino, Henry Dunant initiated medical assistance to the wounded with the support of local volunteers, and his memories of this occasion drove the formation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent movement in the world. Therefore, remembering Henry Dunant’s solemn service, we commemorate the World Red Cross & Red Crescent day honoring him for founding this mammoth organization.
Though there would have been other voluntary organizations where people helped people even at that time, our services founded on our fundamental principles of the Red Cross & Red Crescent movement resonates beyond horizons.
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society; formed by the public in 1936 gathered at the residence of the Governor of Ceylon and expanded island wide, is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent and the lifetime partner of International Committee of Red Cross whose establishments extend in 189 countries shouldered by eighty million volunteers and staff.
The Red Cross & Red Crescent fundamental principles – humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, universality – render us a strong platform to deliver our humanitarian services in the sectors of disaster management, health, livelihood, humanitarian values, shelter, organizational development…etc.
The Geneva conventions, the United Nations and the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Conferences’ resolutions also have entrusted significant responsibilities on the Red Cross & Red Crescent movement.
Assisting every Sri Lankan in humanitarian needs in disaster circumstances and in development times is a responsibility endowed on to the volunteers and the staff of Red Cross, the indispensable duty we have responded for the betterment of our communities, the call we responded to gather and work together.
The Red Cross & Red Crescent movement formed on a scenario of a bloody war is now a universal organization which provides humanitarian assistance to the world community. Therefore, the commitment towards that is the utmost duty of all.
Meanwhile messages from the Head’s of Delegations of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies & the International Committee of the Red Cross were presented during the event by their respective representative.
Copies of the booklets were also handed to the distinguished guests who took part at the event.
Students from the Junior Red Cross Circles from various schools in the Colombo district, volunteers, youth members, members of the staff and other invitees were present at the occasion.