It was the second triumph for Sri Lanka at this prestigious global competition. Seated in the front row in the auditorium at the Hague in the Netherlands on December 1 as one of the three finalists of the ‘World Challenge – 09’ conducted by Shell, BBC and Newsweek magazine, a tiny flame of hope flickered in Dr. Wijaya Godakumbura that his ‘Safe Bottle Lamp Project’ could win this prestigious competition. All too aware of the tension and suspense of the final few minutes, he was overjoyed to hear his project being announced as the winner.
With the country’s protracted war ending earlier this year, the problems of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) became the focus. However, come December, the plight of another group of people, who like the IDPs, faced the trauma of losing their kith and kin, homes and belongings, jolts our conscience. Five years after the tsunami, life is still an ordeal for some of them.