It is with heavy hearts we reflect on a year since our beloved parents were taken from us, along with 29 other innocent civilians. Our sense of loss is overwhelming and although we miss them everyday, we gain strength in the knowledge that they are together and are watching over us.
We know both Ammi and Thaththi were deeply loved and respected by so many people in Sri Lanka. It was comforting and heart warming to know when we went to Anuradhapura how much our mother too was loved and admired by the people there. The outpouring of emotion by the people who lined the streets to pay their respects to our parents made us appreciate this was a shared loss and the nation was grieving with us. Thaththi always wanted to help the people. He felt a great sense of community and compassion to improve the lives of all Sri Lankans. With Ammi by his side the two of them hoped to achieve this.
They never believed in racial divides or in singling out people for petty differences. One of the many values our parents instilled in us was that all people should be treated with respect and dignity. Our parents were patriotic to our country and its people. They wanted to contribute to make the future bright and hopeful for Sri Lankans. This sense of patriotism was evident in their two diplomatic postings when Thaththi represented Sri Lanka as High Commissioner to Australia and subsequently as Ambassador to Indonesia. In these positions, Ammi and Thaththi proudly represented Sri Lanka in the host country. Through their hard work and dedication, many people learnt about our country.
Throughout Thaththi’s successful military career he contributed to the success of many a battle and defended the sovereignty and integrity of Sri Lanka. He tried to ensure the safety of all his troops because as Thaththi always said, “I would not like to leave any mother without a son.” People saw Thaththi’s strength and courage in his military victories and political stand but we know the source of his strength came from the love and support of Ammi.
Her magnetic personality, her quiet charm and genuine interest in everyone attracted people to her. She related to people from all walks of life and showed respect and courtesy to everyone. Ammi was beautiful but it was the inner beauty of her soul which radiated. We believe it was our father’s love and devotion to her which influenced him in all aspects of his life. We believe it was this love which made them want to give back to their homeland and help Sri Lankan people.
Our parents have taught us many values on which to base our lives. One of the main ones is to stand up for what is right and not be afraid to do so. We know our parents lived by these words and for this reason they were loved by the people of our country and admired and respected by everyone.
For us, our parents were inspirational. We are proud to say that Ammi and Thaththi lived their lives in an honourable manner without compromising their values. Everyday we try to live up to their standards and follow their guidance, so they would be proud of us. Ammi and Thaththi are with us in everything we do, in every decision we make, in our joy and in our sadness and because of this we have the courage to look towards the future. We honour them and will love them forever.
Our thoughts are with all the families who lost their loved ones on that fateful day one year ago, and we share the pain of those who have been victims of terrorism.
Janukshi, Shehara and Ashanka Perera
Their legacy will live on
We pen this appreciation as a tribute to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Major General Janaka Perera and his wife Vajira Perera on October 6.
We in the family take justifiable pride to say for all the world to hear, “This was a Man.”
Vajira was indeed a tower of strength to Janaka in all his endeavours and no doubt contributed immensely towards his success in life.
Major General Janaka Perera, the brilliant soldier, excellent diplomat and politician who earned the respect of those humble voters of Rajarata, the people of our great nation and of those living even beyond the shores of Lanka is no more, but the magnitude of his legacy will be felt by generations to come and his roar will reverberate in the echoes of time. ‘To live in the hearts of men is surely not to die.’
Children Janik, Janukshi, Shehara and Ashanka, brothers Lalith, Prithiviraj, Ajith, sisters-in-law Kanthi, Thilaka, Sherine, Lilanthi and their families.