Commit yourselves to serve the
country with true patriotism and loyalty

–President to Royal College students


President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address at the 162nd Prize Giving Ceremony of Royal College urged students to emulate the past Royalists, such as Anagarika Dharmapala and Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, in committing themselves to serve the country with true patriotism and loyalty. He said as a school comprising children of all communities, they had an opportunity to set an example in building unity among students belonging to diverse ethnic and religious sectors.

Full text of the President’s speech:

My dear Children, earlier I have participated in three prize giving ceremonies of your college. This is the forth occasion. What I have noticed on all these four occasions is that the Royal College has properly identified the needs of the country and implemented various programmes to impart the necessary knowledge to its students.

Your college has been among the 30 best colleges in Computer technology in the world. There is an allegation that the gap between children and parents is widened with the introduction of the computer. But today parents are able to asses the progress of their children at the school, daily from home through the computer. That is the way Royalists have enhanced the harmony between the school and home through the computer.

I notice that Royalists have not become mere slaves of the computer. They have rejected the misconception that the future of the entire country depends on the computer. Children of this country should be brought up in a way that suits our country. Whether you are in the computer era, or you have orbited in the space, you cannot, afford to neglect the needs of your country. This is the, era to build our country for the sake of you all, the younger generation. You have a significant duty to perform in the process of the development of this country. You have to contribute your mite in a pragmatic way and not as mere observers.

Children of this country have been a strength for us in the process of highest humane operation in the world, the recent war. They encouraged our heroes by collecting bottles of drinking water and dispatching them to the North. Such contributions, you made to redeem this country could be used now to build, the country as well. Building a country is also a great a challenge. For that great task we need strong and courageous people. We need people who love their country.

You must have the strong conviction that you have the qualities of great people who worked for the country in your blood. Please read the biographies of the products of your college, great people like Anagarika Dharmapala, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan are but a few of them who were committed to serve the country.

It is with the intention of developing the country through one million Housing Economic Units that we initiated the ‘Divi Neguma’. You all can participate in that endeavour. Royal college has come second in the competition of cultivating school gardens, Do not forget that Royalists from the time of yore, are experienced farmers.

This is the time that you must concentrate on the progress of the county at every moment. I have heard a song which says "Me Rate minissu, thanikara kellinne pissu" but the songs composed in the days gone by, states "Loken Uthum Rata Lankawai". Such patriotic songs have served a great deal in our fight for the freedom of the country. Please remember songs disgracing the country could help those who want to divide the motherland, Your way of thinking has a tremendous impacts upon the country. Similarly what you write or what you speak also affect the country. Today your country has sufffered a lot, due to false rumours. Only you can stop such rumours.

Perhaps you may come across difficulties. Please bear them up and don’t blame the country. You must have patience for the sake of the country,

Children from all four corners of the country, are present here. It is a privilege to get such a rare opportunity to learn how to respect other religions from the tender age. It makes easy for you to co-exist with the rest of the people irrespective of racial and religious differences or due to any other social standing.

We have a lot of examples to follow in respecting others and upholding human rights. King Dutugemunu decreed that no one should make a noise, wear shoes or hats, when passing the grave of king Elara.

That royal decree was strictly followed by our chieftains even at the moment of retreating in the course of the 1818 revolution. When the English Army was advancing they avoided the grave of King Elara,

You are quite aware of what is found underneath the Great Wall, gigantic pyramids and other historic monuments of the world. It is the blood and sweat of millions of slaves, bones and skeletons of men. Also you know what is enshrined in the Ruwanweli Dageba which is one of the most dignified monuments of our nation.

King Dutugemunu paid for the labour spent on building Runwanweliseya. He made a payment even to a Buddhist monk who contributed his labour through devotion by laying a brick.

The great King donated a Dagaba to the monk in lieu of wages. We have an exemplary history of humane qualities. Such qualities must be practiced by each and every person in this country. Your future depends on the nation’s solidarity and harmony. It is the future of this country as well.

Dear Children, you must protect all that has been build up to date. It is also your responsibility to protect the freedom we have already won.

I wish a bright and prosperous future to all of you.

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