September 19, 2019
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    Premier assures full support for Vesak celebrations Featured

    May 14, 2019

    The government and the Security Forces and Police will extend unqualified support to the people to celebrate Vesak by giving pride of place to amisa pooja as decided by the Mahanayake Theras (Chief Prelates) of three Nikayas, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “There is no need to postpone or cancel Vesak celebrations for any reason. Even the Portuguese couldn’t restrict Vesak celebrations,” said the Premier.

    The Prime Minister was speaking at the ceremony to award appointment letters to new coaches yesterday at Temple Trees. The Premier said the Mahanayake Theras had also given due attention to the putting up of pandals and conducting dansalas and the decision has been taken to grant permission for pandals and dansal only in selected areas and to postpone the rest due to the prevailing security situation in the country.
    “There is a possibility that rumours can be spread. So I have already informed the Acting IGP to make a special statement on the prevailing security situation and the security arrangements for the upcoming Vesak festival by Thursday or Friday,” the Premier said.Prime Minister Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of improving opportunities for exposure to the arts, sport and extracurricular activities in schools to overcome extremism in society.
    “Children who engage in sports, arts and other extracurricular activities have no time for violent extremism,” he said.The Premier said although government schools have opened for the second term following the Easter Sunday attacks, the attendance of students in most schools in cities was very low while student attendance in some rural areas was relatively high.
    When I was the Education Minister, a similar situation was experienced after the 1983 riots. It takes some time to normalise the situation. We should accept that there is a decline in public trust in government and politicians due to the negligence of foreign intelligence reports that hinted at the Easter Sunday attacks. So what the government should do is take necessary measures to rebuild the people’s confidence in government,” he said.
    Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said after the yahapalana government came to power in 2015, a decision was taken to recruit new coaches with the intention of uplifting the standard of sports at school level. “We have been able to recruit 3,888 new coaches who have excelled at international, national and provincial level and they will be attached to the school system.”
    The Minister said the new appointees were selected after a practical test and an interview which evaluated sportsmen and women who have excelled in different sports, obtaining first, second and third places, at international, all-island and provincial sports events. The Education Ministry has taken steps to provide them with three-month in-house training. Upon completion of the training, they will be posted as coaches to schools across the country.
    State Education Minister Vijayakala Maheshwaran, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and the Education Ministry’s Sports and Physical Education Advisor Sunil Jayaweera also spoke. Disaster Management Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara, City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education Minister Rauff Hakeem and several other Ministers, Parliamentarians, Ministry officials were also present.



    Last modified on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 17:43

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