Country has made great progress - PM | Daily News


Country has made great progress - PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he is seeking the people’s mandate for another five years to complete the undertakings of promoting Sri Lankan identity over ethnic and religious differences, providing a political solution to the national question and abolishing the Executive Presidency.

He was speaking at an event at Temple Trees yesterday to recruit 1,200 individuals to a diploma programme on Language Training conducted by the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET).

“Five years is hardly enough to create national integration in a country where divisions were deeply rooted for three decades.

The progress on building reconciliation and national integration is not clearly visible as the physical development of a country, but surely we have made progress in the past few years. The country did not divide in the post Easter Sunday attacks.

We united to face it. The extremism must be condemned in unity,” he said.

“When we sang the national anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil on the Independence Day, we came under unfounded and harsh criticism.Those were unwanted problems. It was former Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake who asked to translate the national anthem to Tamil. What is wrong in saying that ‘we are children of one family’ in both Sinhala and Tamil?” he questioned.

The Prime Minister, who visited Jaffna over the weekend, pointed out that the results of reconciliation were more apparent during his latest visit compared to the situation in 2009/2010. “Our mandate in 2015 included building unity among different communities.While we integrate all to build a Sri Lankan identity, each of them must be able to live with dignity of their ethnicity and religion. We must accept that right. Most of the racial disputes are orchestrated,” he added. Pointing out that the Constitutional making exercise was difficult to be carried forward without two-thirds majority support in Parliament, the Prime Minister requested a fresh mandate to deliver on the promises of working out a political solution and abolishing Executive Presidency.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya speaking at the occasion pointed out that a few who hold extremist views have put the country’s future in peril. “The youth and businessmen are leaving the country as a result. I urge them to get rid of political hypocrisy thinking about the future generations of the country,” he said.

National Integration, Official Languages, Social Progress and Hindu Religious Minister Mano Ganesan said the Cabinet paper pertaining to the Language training programme was approved yesterday, and it would be continued as a pilot project. “A shortage of about 5,000 language teachers exists in our schools. We discussed with Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam to fill those vacancies with language trainers we produce from this programme,” he noted.

Those who successfully complete the three-month programme will be integrated to the NILET as Language Trainers.

Among those in the first batch are 800 Tamil medium applicants, 400 Sinhala medium applicants and 100 English medium applicants. They have been selected from a total of 16,000 applicants.

The minister also requested the Prime Minister’s support to develop the NILET as a ‘Language University’.

Ministers Vajira Abeywardena and Ravi Karunanayake also spoke.



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