Felicitation for the Sri Lankan Team at the
Abilympics is an event that is held to give an opportunity for people with disabilities to demonstrate their vocational skills at a global level. A four member team from Sri Lanka participated at this event for the first time with the support and blessings from the Ministry of Social Services and Welfare, Development with Disabled Network, Handicap International and Practical Action.
The Sri Lankan team of four comprised of W. S. Surangani Alwis from Horana in Colombo district who participated in advanced dress making competition, K.Ranjith from Walsamulla in the wood carving competition ; K. G. Nihal Jayarathna on tailoring competition; L.P. Ananda from Suriyawwewa on electronic assembling and testing competition; and twenty nine year old W. S. Surangani Alwis from Horana who participated in advance dress making. Surangani despite being physically handicapped works as an instructor of Sukhitha Welfare Society school which provides vocational trainings to the students with disabilities. K.K Ranjith thirty nine year old ; another participant is physically handicapped; yet engages in wood carving and furniture making as a profession. Twenty nine year old K. G. Nihal Jayarathna too is physically handicapped yet engages in tailoring. The youngest in this group the twenty three year old L.P Ananda engages in electronic assembling. The Sri Lankan team and the representatives got an excellent opportunity to learn about universal designs (infrastructure and machinery that suits anybody regardless of the fact whether you are aged or disabled) and compete with many others from Asian countries.
A felicitation was organised for the Sri Lankan team who participated at the Abiliympics on the 3rd of December 2007 by Practical Action in collaboration with the Development with Disabled Network at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo 07. Asitha Weweldeniya, coordinator of the Development with Disabled Network extended the appreciation to Toyota Lanka, JAICA, Handicap International, Metro Lanka for providing financial support to make this event a success. Mr.U.R Rodrigo Exceutive Director of the Development with Disabled Network addressing this event stated that participation in International Abilympics this year would be a stepping stone to become winners at a future Abilympics.
At this event Nobuhika Kato representing Toyota Lanka and Kato Navoka representing the Ministry of Social Services awarded certificates to the participants. The participants too presented their tokens of appreciation to the organizations that supported them to represent Sri Lanka at the International Abilympics. "I am extremely thankful to all who supported us to participate at this international competition. I hope and plan to participate at the international Abilympics in 2011 in Korea and be a winner" said . W. S. Surangani Alwis from Horana who participated at this event. "I request you to share your experiences with your other colleagues with disabilities who could not participate at this event and let us hope that we will be able to give a better competition in the 2011 Abilympics." said Premadasa Dissanayake an active member of the Development with Disabled Network.
The second issue of Janthakshana Puwath in 2007 focussed on different aspects that has to be dealt with in mainstreaming disability into development. The articles are based on some of the papers presented at the Diriya 2007 conference which was held in March 2007 in Sri Lanka.