Saturday, 4 February 2012
What the Sri Lankan Society needs today is the strength to rise as an Independent nation, said Mahanayake Thera of the Ramanya Chapter Most Venerable Weweldeniye Medhalankara Thera issuing an Independence Day message.
The message: "The formation of the necessary environment for an independent country has been completed. Today, all of us are enjoying the peaceful environment which should prevail with national, religious and environmental independence.
Terrorism which existed for over 30 years has ended and an environment has been created to rise up as a strong nation. In this era where the community life has now become normal, our future would be very pleasant if we are able to be rich economically as well as ethically. Our wish has always been to provide such a pleasant environment to the children of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is indeed a sacred land. It is due to our meritorious acts in the past which has enabled us to be born in this beautiful and sacred island. If we achieve such prosperity, no one will attempt to degrade us. This is the most suitable era to act with a sense of nationalism and devotion towards country and the religion."
Many sacrificed to gain freedom - Mahanayake of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya
Nature has gifted us a land with all the natural beauties and other valuable day-to-day needs. Our country which is known as "Serendib" within the five great oceans and continents is a term given by the foreigners.
Foreigners who name this as the "Golden Island" is beyond imagination and we are proud to be born here, said Mahanayake of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya Venerable Dauldena Gnanissara Maha Nayake Thera in an Independence Day Message.
The message: "Our country is endowed with natural beauties and blessed with the Dhamma of the Buddha. One can come across all types of climatic conditions within a space of 20 kilometres. The rivers in this golden island never go dry.
The rain water is collected in lakes around the country. This land of ours is sanctuary to wild elephants, beasts and birds. The nature has given to this land fruits and other consumable vegetables as gifts. It is hardly believable whether there is another country gifted with all these other than Sri Lanka.
The country celebrates its 64th anniversary of independence. It will be the duty of all our citizens irrespective of race or creed to have pride in ourselves and work in close unity.
Our country was self-sufficient in rice. One is at a loss to understand how a dry area in the district of Moneragala could have produced such an amount of paddy by collecting only the rain water.
We who were under the foreign rule of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British for 433 years lost all our valuable artifacts and brought us under their domination and in the year when we got back our independence nominally in 1948 we were subjected to their domination and had to depend on the import of rice which is our staple diet.
They handed back the country to us under the impression that this land is a colony of theirs.
They handed over the country to a set of people who were the shadows of the foreigners. During the era 1950-60 when there was the Korean war, our natural rubber fetched a very high price in the market and we had a surplus budget.
Today, we are celebrating our 64th anniversary of obtaining independence from the colonial rule.
However, during the last few years due to the far-sighted polices of our administrators with patriotic feelings, we have been able to attain self-sufficiency in rice. We are enjoying full freedom as a unitary state. Many are the people who sacrificed their lives to attain this freedom and it should be obligatory on all of us as true citizens of this golden land to commemorate them."
Time to march towards development - All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama
Sri Lankan Muslims since the era of kings, have been living in this country as sincere citizens to all the leaders. Even during the last three decades of battle Muslims did not like either separating the country or acting against the rulers, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama said in a message to mark Independence Day.
The message: "Now is the time to march towards the path of development at this state of peace and complete independence. Every citizen, irrespective of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims should come forward as Sri Lankans for the development of the country with devotion and dedication.
All communities could be brought to a common stream of thoughts only if every community is treated and valued with equality, mutual understanding, trust, cooperation and compromise in the activities of our President one could observe his trend of respecting every community. However, the fear is that the activities of some government officials might be the hurdles to achieve his goal.
All religious leaders should guide the society they are representing to follow their religious solidarity and good manners and make efforts to guide them to regard the other societies. All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama believes that our motherland could be brought to the genuine path of development only if the service oriented government organizations come forward to serve the people forgetting the social, cultural, religious and linguistic differences in the societies."
Patriots always defend country - Media Minister
Patriots always fought against enemy forces that attempted to invade or control the country. Sri Lankans, as a nation were always dedicated and determined to oppose anyone who threatened the dignity of the country, said Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella issuing an Independence Day message.
The message: "There were many heroes who sacrificed their precious lives for the independence of the country. In the past, our heroes sacrificed their precious lives to save the country from aggressors, such as, Kalinga Maga.
During the colonial era, our heroes fought for safeguarding the dignity of this country giving only second place to their own life. In the recent history over 30,000 war heroes sacrificed their lives to defeat the separatist terrorism and to safeguard the unitary status of this country.
It is natural that the human beings become aggressive when there is a threat to their freedom. Patriotism and national dignity is essential for a country. We, Sri Lankans possess a historical civilization that is not second to any other country and we can be proud of that.
The government has no intention at all of controlling the freedom of anyone by restrictions and other barriers and it is the intention of the government to provide the development based physical freedom to the masses.
Building of the spiritual freedom of individuals should be done by individuals. The rulers can only provide a space conducive to achieve this task.
The freedom of the first citizen of this country who provided freedom to this country in the recent history is still limited since the challenges to the motherland from the local and international forces have not ended yet.
It is the responsibility of the people to fight for the freedom and protect the prevailing freedom. As it was said by the founder of the Indian Independence Mahatma Gandhi "if the term "my" can be removed in religious, political and economic activities, human beings can achieve freedom expeditiously. Then the heaven will appear on the surface of the earth itself."
Let us hand over this nation to the future generation as a prosperous nation thereby honouring the war heroes who sacrificed their lives and providing a value to the blood they spilled."
Dedicate to nation building - Bishop of Colombo's Commissary
National Days of a country are not only a time for thanksgiving but also a time for introspection and reflection. We in Sri Lanka have much to be thankful for in what our country has achieved over the past sixty-four years, said Bishop of Colombo's Commissary Venerable Chrishantha B Mendis in an Independence Day message.
The message "There have also been failures and it is equally or more important to reflect on our failures because the only way we can go forward is by moving away from the wrongs and the wrong paths that we may have followed in the past.
When our country obtained independence from colonial rule in 1948, our people had already been electing their representatives to the legislature for nearly two decades. We were one of the first countries in the world where universal adult franchise was introduced under the Donoughmore reforms. Education was free and compulsory and a system of central schools ensured that quality education was made available to all.
Post-independence, the growth of state universities ensured that tertiary education was not confined to a select few. The development of the state health sector has ensured affordable medical facilities throughout the country. Progress has also been made in diversifying our largely agriculture-based economy.
A solution to our problems of national unity and reconciliation and increasing poverty both in the urban and rural areas are matters of concern. These are issues that our leaders, both political and civil society, recognized. The recommendations made by the LLRC have provided an opportunity to our political leaders to courageously move forward by implementing the recommendations in the right spirit and thereby create the right conditions for a solution to the National Question, for ensuring law and order and effective law enforcement and for uplifting the social and economic status of the marginalized in society.
Let us use this National Day to re-dedicate ourselves to the task of nation building in all areas of life - spiritual, political, social and economic."
Join hands together to develop nation - Ramakrishna Mission
I prey to the Lord to shower his choicest blessing on the Independence Day celebration, to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and all of his ministerial colleagues, who are the co-partners doing their sincere efforts to bring the glory of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the high pedestal, said Ramakrishna Mission Vice President and Chairman Swami Sarvarupananda issuing an Independence Day message.
The message: "To safeguard this Independence, the country needs education, money and opportunities and l other social and economic conditions. For that, one should be properly equipped, physically as well as mentally. This involves making right choices and struggling hard to fulfill, what are the dreams to have. It is not an easy path. The Upanishads have declared "Arise, Awake and stop not till the goal is reached".
By the hard work and guidance of the President and his team of executives, the country crossed many hurdles, and will be able to cross further. In all the fields we have the courage to work for it and succeed.
The freedom we enjoy today as individuals, society and a nation, is the fruit of hard labour and scarifies of our ancestors and predecessors.
Whenever the team work is involved, this is always the superior and the subordinate relations coming to play an important role. To make the team effort successful, all have to join hands together and co-operate with each other.
This idea has been expressed in the last prayer of Rigveda: - "Let us speak together, let our thoughts be one, let us be of one mind, let the place be common, assembly be common, mind and thought be common.
Let the resolve be the same, and the mind be of one accord."
Holistic development needed for total political freedom - Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister
Economic, social and cultural development is one of the critical factors in total political freedom, said Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W.D.J. Seneviratna issuing a message to mark the National Independence Day.
The message: “As we are well aware, the coastal belt of our motherland had been under the rule of Portuguese from 1505-1658 A.D. and of Dutch from 1658-1796 A.D. The year 1815 marked in the history in which the British brought the country under their control. During that period India, our neighbour had also been under the British yoke and as a result of such situation, a freedom struggle was launched by the Indian leaders. In the meantime, Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim leaders of Sri Lanka whilst extending their cooperation to their freedom struggle, launched a movement to win freedom from British rule. Due to their unwavering efforts Sri Lanka could mark February 4, 1948 as the Independence Day in its history.
The country gained the total freedom from the crown with the transformation of Sri Lanka to a Democratic Socialist Republic in 1972 removing the British Navy camps at Trincomalee.
The country follows a democratic ruling system which applies a multiparty system for selecting representatives of the people. Even though the country had to face political conspiracies, riots and terrorist activities which were aimed to topple down the governments elected by the people, the country and the government could protect the democratic process defeating such malicious practices. The recent three decades are marked in our history as the period during which the freedom of the people had been suppressed by LTTE terrorism .
In retrospect of the history of Sri Lanka after freedom, we have now reached a juncture where we should consider whether the progress gained after independence is at a satisfactory level. We should not forget that the countries such as India, Singapore, Malaysia and Korea which were far behind in the path of development at the time of our independence in 1948 have achieved a significant development.
With a view to ensure a high standard of living, foundation has been laid under the Mahinda Chinthana policy manifesto to develop the country giving priority to the fields, such as, marine, air, trade and commerce. Medium and small-scale projects are implemented as long-term and short-term projects to make Sri Lanka a developed country in Asia.
Information and Communication Technology holds a prominent place in our effort to transform our country to a developed competitor of modern world. It is not necessary to point out that the public servant has to play a major role in the development of the country applying government policies.
Therefore, we expect that present and future public servants will be partners of the journey towards development proving their ability to communicate in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.”
‘True independence brought by defeating terrorism’
Today is the day we as Sri Lankans celebrate our 64th Independence Day in the city of Anuradhapura. True independence was brought to the people by defeating terrorism, said Sulaahiya Arabic college advisor Aljah Kaleel Moulavi in an Independence Day message.
The message: “We have been celebrating our independence for decades given by the British which is something fake and not a real independence. Even after their independence, we have experienced communal issues, killings, jealousy and hatredness and we had no guarantee even to our lives when a man is stepped out of the house and not returning homes.
We've also experience bomb explosions in the streets and in thickly populated areas. We had a time in which we found hundreds and thousands of people were killed. The only word that was left out was just the word “Independence'.
Assets belong to Muslims from Vanni were taken by the terrorists and asked to leave within 24 hours from the Northern peninsula. Muslims from the East were ordered to leave too. Real independence was brought to our country in 2009. That was our real independence. We as Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Catholics, we have our lives back defeating terrorism. The era of explosion is over. Hatred, jealousy and terrorist activities are completely eradicated. In terms of Economical and religious independence was brought to us only in 2008. That was the only day we can call as a real Independence Day. That real independence was brought to us by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.”
It gives me immense pleasure to convey heartiest felicitations and warm greetings to you on behalf of the Government and people of India on the occasion of the 64th Independence Day of Sri Lanka.
India and Sri Lanka share a centuries old friendship and a common heritage. Our close bilateral relations are characterized by the spirit of mutual understanding and constructive cooperation. I am confident that our relations will continue to strengthen in the years ahead to the mutual benefit of our two peoples.
I wish to convey my best wishes for your good health and well being as well as for the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Sri Lanka.