Come and Learn about reconciliation process

Speech of President Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that foreign saboteurs, which level baseless allegations against Sri Lanka should visit the country and have a first-hand experience about the reconciliation process and measures taken to strengthen communal harmony.

The President was participating in a ceremony organised under Mother Sri Lanka project at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday.

The President added that these elements together with their Western backers conspiring against Sri Lanka are welcome to visit the country, to get a fair and balanced view about the fruitful measures taken regarding the reconciliation process.

“Those elements should meet and seek the views of the moderates rather than dealing with extremist groups who have hidden agendas,” the President said.

President Rajapaksa further said that these foreign elements should not promote politics of hate by trying to create disunity and division among the people thus taking the country back to the dark era again. They should work with the patriotic associations and organisations that contribute to the country’s betterment and not harm its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The President added that programs like the one initiated by Mother Sri Lanka pave the way for communal harmony while building strong bonds between people.

He stressed the need to live in peace and harmony, rejecting hatred and anger.

The President also said that before May 2009, the country lived in the grip of fear of LTTE terrorism. People avoided gatherings owing to bomb blasts and the terrorists did not even allow children in the North to visit the South and viceversa.

The President further noted during the times when terrorism reigned supreme, children were sent to school with much trepidation for fear of their lives. The terrorists did not allow Tamil students to learn any other languages.

“But, I am well aware that students today have all the freedom to learn various languages of their choice. When I go to the North, the students ask me to provide more teachers to learn Sinhala. At the same time, when in the South, I am asked for more Tamil teachers to teach Tamil,” the President said.

“The development activities being carried out throughout the country would only become meaningful, if a morally upright and disciplined society is created. Therefore, it is a national need for programs of this nature (Mother Sri Lanka project), which paves the way for a well-disciplined society to be given all the support in its endeacvours. Programs of this nature are indeed a gift to the world. Programs like this are a great boon to children as it helps them become better citizens, who love the country and humanity as whole,” the President added.

The President said that parents as well as society should be vigilant about their children’s activities and direct them on the correct path.

“Children are the future stake holders of the country and therefore they should be guided on the correct path. Society too had an equal responsibility in directing their children, since the government alone could not achieve this task on its own,” the President stressed.

President Rajapaksa said that it was the responsibility of every citizen to set a good example by living in peace and harmony with others.

“As Sri Lankans, we too have to live in peace and harmony, maintaining universal brotherhood. As members of one country, we should all come forward and join hands to develop our motherland,” the President said.

Project RUN is named after the acronyms of the three components, Responsible citizenship, Unity, and National pride. It is a unique concept where children are encouraged to come up with their own project, find the team, and appoint leaders as well as find the finances for the project under the guidance of a Mother Trust.

Mother Sri Lanka is a collaborative effort of the public, non-governmental and the private sectors in the country, leveraging on the strengths in each sector with leadership and direction from the President’s Office. The campaign aims to bring together diverse perspectives in an inclusive manner with empowerment and development as a goal in the long run hoping to serve as a beginning to demystify the ideas about the past and to allow discussions on what can be done for the future, to stand up as strong individuals and a strong united nation.

Courtesy : Daily News