Royal College leads way to national integration, reconciliation among school children


Taking the pledge : From left, Royal College  Principal  B. A. Abeyratne, Secretary Ministry of National Integration and  Reconciliation V.Sivagnanasothy,  Ministry and GIZ officials, religous leaders  and students, during a ceremony held in connection with National Integration and Reconciliation  Week at Royal College last week.

by Zacki Jabbar

Royal College Colombo has led the way with over 1,000 students and 100 teachers taking a pledge in connection with National Integration and Reconciliation Week during ceremony held in the school last week.

National Integration and Reconciliation Week (NIRW) declared by President Maithripala Sirisena and endorsed by the Cabinet which concludes today, was  conducted  with  related  programmes  in English , Sinhala and Tamil, in schools countrywide in collaboration with the Education Ministry and GIZ.

Secretary Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation V.Sivagnanasothy  said that the objective of the programme was to  institutionalize reconciliation and create awareness among school children so that they could be the messengers and change agents towards reconciliation and sustainable peace. " Multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural schools like Royal College have an all enabling environment, to practice reconciliation and integration," he said

Principal B. A. Abeyratne of Royal College said that  school children and teachers had worked hard and participated with  commitment in the NIRW, to make the  Reconciliation Initiatives set out in the NIRW Declaration a reality.

All participants took a pledge, expressing their   commitment to the National Reconciliation Virtues developed by the Ministry. They were;

Dignity and Respect – Respect is the right of every person and should be reflected in your speech and action.

Diversity – Valuing differences in religion, ethnicity, language, race, physical appearance, life style, dress and way of speaking should  be recognized and the richness of such diversity should be valued.

Equity, Inclusiveness and Fairness – Ensuring equal rights and equal opportunity without discrimination is important.

Tolerance – Not seeing things in one perspective but recognizing differences in opinions.

Friendship and kindness – Being kind to all living things.

Compassion – Caring, listening and being close to others.

Justice and Human Rights – Standing up for your rights and rights of others and being fair in everything you do.

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