President calls for national policy on integration, reconciliation


President Maithripala Sirisena addressing members of Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation

President Maithripala Sirisena has directed the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation to prepare a draft national policy on national integration and reconciliation as soon as possible. The President has also urged the Ministry to launch a programme to educate the general public on the constitutional reform proposals relating to integration and reconciliation.

The following is the text of a statement issued by the Ministry: "The activities of the Ministry were reviewed at a meeting last Friday (22) at the President’s official residence presided by President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Minister in charge of the Ministry. The State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation A H M Fowzie, Ministry Secretary Dr. M Ganeshamoorthy, State Secretary M M Zuhair PC, Addl. Secretary J A K N Jayatunge, Addl. Secretary Dr Mrs HMS Jayatunge, Chief Accountant D G H D Perera and Cordinating Secretary to Ministry Secretary Emmanuel Vasanthan attended the review meeting.

The President said the provisions of the proposed Constitution dealing with matters under the purview of the Ministry and related issues must be placed before the public and discussed. The general public particularly in the South must be educated on these proposals. The Ministry must recruit persons with special knowledge and expertise on contract to carry out this task. This must be given priority, the President said. He also pointed out the need to coordinate with the electronic, print and social media in conveying the proposals to the country. This will facilitate parliamentary approval.

Ministry Secretary Dr. M Ganeshamoorthy explained in detail the 14 point programme concerning the Ministry activities and proposed action plan. He referred to the Schools Programme inaugurated by the President on 5th May and the activities that followed thereafter. He said the responses from the student and the teaching staff were excellent.

He said the theme of healthy coexistence will be further enhanced through the sports activities to be inaugurated at Hali-ela on Sunday by the President at the initiation of State Minister of Highways Dilan Perera with the participation of Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera, Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando, Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganeshan, Chief Minister of the Uva Province Chamara Sampath Dasanayaka and State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation A H M Fowzie.

He said the Ministry of National Integration is a co-sponsor of the Unity Sports Festival in Hali-Ela where students from all three communities will unite under one group and contest with other similar groups, with the broader aim of fostering unity through sports. "

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