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Universal Day for children, elders

by Nadira Gunatilleke

The Universal Children's Day 2004 and the International Elders' Day 2004 fall today. According to the Women's Empowerment and Social Welfare Ministry, Sri Lanka has a rapidly ageing population.

It is estimated that by 2050 over 50 per cent of Sri Lanka's population would be aged over 50.

According to statistics, the total child population is 5,551,889. Kandy district records the highest number of children at 425,000.

The National ceremony to mark International Elders' Day 2004 will be held at the Police Grounds, Bambalapitiya at 9.30 am under the patronage of Women's Empowerment and Social Welfare Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will inaugurate the Flag Day to mark the Universal Children's Day.

Women's Empowerment and Social Welfare Minister Sumedha G.Jayasena will pin the first flag on Prime Minister at Visumpaya at 9.00 am. The proceeds of the flag day will be credited to the Children's funds set up at Divisional Secretariat level.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will be the chief guest of the Universal Children's Day Festival organised by the Cultural Affairs and the National Heritage Ministry which will be held at the National Cultural premises, Viharamadevi Park, Colombo 7. Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Minister Vijitha Herath and the Deputy Minister Samantha Vidyaratne will also take part.

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has organised a special ceremony to mark the Universal Children's Day 2004 at the BMICH, Colombo 7 at 2.00 pm under the patronage of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

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