President stresses need to foster religious and ethnic harmony
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday stressed the importance of
people of different communities and religions forging closer bonds
between them. He said all citizens should take the responsibility to
promote ethnic and religious harmony.
He was of the view that this type of bond would avert unnecessary
problems. The President was speaking at the unveiling of a pinnacle of
the newly constructed Dagaba of the Sri Anandaramaya Temple in
JHU Parliamentarian Ven Ellawala Medhananda Thera delivered the
anusasana. President Rajapaksa presented a special memento to the
temple’s Viharadhikari Ven Kurundankulame Dhammawansa Thera in
recognition of his services to the Buddha Sasana. The thera also
presented a replica of a Dagaba to the President.
President Rajapaksa said the time has come to end differences that
stood in the way towards closer ethnic and religious harmony.
He said students are compelled to learn in Muslim, Tamil and Sinhala
schools separately till they are 22 years.
He said these students are told to live in harmony with other
communities after they reach 22 years.
The President also said the dividends of development should reach
He said the government was in the process of providing basic
facilities such as water, electricity, infrastructure facilities and
telecommunication facilities to every village.
President Rajapaksa said the Northern province has seen massive
development since the end of the conflict.
He said the government opened a fully fledged hospital complex at the
Jaffna Teaching Hospital where there are 10 surgical theatres in a
single floor. The President said special focus should be laid on the
education of students while infrastructure facilities are developed.
“No one can prevent students from leaving the village schools if they
do not have facilities and good teachers,” he said.
He said the government started a programme to empower schools in the
villages with more facilities and teachers.
“The development of the country will become fruitless if moral values
deteriorate among our younger generation,” he said.
He said parents have a responsibility to mould the personality of
their children with high standards of moral and ethical values.
Religious leaders and the learned people in the villages have a
responsibility in this aspect, he said.
He said the number of students attending Sunday school was on the
increase and more youths were going to the temple.
The President said that the religion of certain students have been
confined to their Birth Certificates only.
“They do not have knowledge of their religion, history of the country
nor their mother tongue,” he said.
President Rajapaksa said he instructed the Education Ministry to make
history, religion and mother tongue compulsory for students of
Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Vasudeva Nanayakkara and
Viharadhikari Ven Kurundankulame Dhammawansa Thera also spoke.