Best things belong to children- President | Daily News
International Children's Day and Elders' Day messages

Best things belong to children- President

A nation or a community of people will receive high recognition in the world through the love and care given by its people or society to children. The foremost value of human civilization is the tenderness and love for children. Hence, the saying, 'Best things in the world belong to children, President Maithripala Sirisena said in an International Children's Day message.

The message: "The child must receive protection first from the parents, then from teachers and thirdly from elders and the society. Unconditional responsibility for the protection of children lies with the entire nation. However, recently reported incidents show that responsibility has been shirked by the society. This must be rectified immediately and provisions must be made to implement laws and introduce new laws or amend existing laws.

"Parents, elders and the society must commit themselves to save children form this catastrophe. The government has taken steps in that direction and the society too must join this cause to safeguard children from disaster.

"Parents must realise that their constant attention is an assurance of child's safety. Lapse in attention means that the child is unsafe. It is an open invitation for possible harm.

"By celebrating International Children's Day merely for a day is not sufficient. If every day is committed to the safety of children, they will be secure in the life they aspire."

Elders, most valuable human resource- President

Elders are the most valuable human resource in a society. They acquire knowledge through life experiences. Since ancient times, people of the East have placed the elders in a high stature in the society as well as within the family unit providing them the due respect, President Maithripala Sirisena said in an Elders' Day message

The message: "Sri Lankans within their extended family system have given a special place for elders and considered them as the pride of a family.

"However, urbanization has posed a serious challenge to the survival of the role of the elder. In many households today, elderly persons are kept in elders' homes, while the children spend their lives as machines in their homes.

"There must be a national dialogue on the imperative need for taking steps to prevent recurrence of unfortunate situations faced by elderly persons in today's world.

"The challenge we have is to arrive at a solution in keeping with the invaluable qualities the Sri Lankan society inherited from the glorious past.

"Steps are taken by the National Secretariat for Elders to assure security for elders and to utilize their experiences, knowledge and wisdom for the society, which is being urbanized due to modernization.

"I wish every success for the Elders' Day celebrations held under the theme "Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment."

Pay more attention towards children and elders - Prime Minister

It is paramount on our part to pay increasing attention towards the security of children and the welfare of elders at a time when harassment against children is daily increasing in society and the destitution of elders has become a social problem as we celebrate Universal Childrens and Elders Day, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a message to mark Children's and Elders' Day.

The message: "We should protect and safeguard children by understanding their mindset, treating them with loving care, safeguarding them against suffering and pressure directed from society and family and strengthening them to face challenges of life.

"Safeguarding children against disasters and abuse has become a grave responsibility cast on parents and elders. All parties, including the government, media, religious dignitaries and the community are all shareholders of this responsibility and accountability.

"Recent incidents prove that sexual abuse against children has become a grave social catastrophe. An extensive programme should be launched to eliminate sexual unrest in society, widen sex education, provide a proper understanding of gender and develop cultural and moral values among people.

"Improvement of welfare services to safeguard elderly people and building a socio-economic background that would strengthen family ties are the challenges facing us.

"I request all citizens to join hands with the programme launched by the government towards achieving this goal."

Nation's future depends on children - Minister

The socio-economic development of a nation depends on the personality and intellectual development of the future generation, Women's and Child Affairs Minister Chandrani Bandara said in an International Children's Day message.

The message: "During recent times, we have seen high incidence of crimes committed against children. Child abuse takes place for a wide variety of reasons. It could be due to lack of proper education and socio-economic and cultural reasons. This kind of violence cuts across ethnic, class, economic and social divide. It affects boys and girls of different ages.

"I urge all members of Sri Lankan society to network with us in our efforts to take preventive measures and also assist in the rehabilitation of victims so that all children grow up to become productive citizens."