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* Sri Lanka celebrates International Women's Day today
Mon, Mar 8, 2010, 07:01 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka is to join the world in celebrating the International Women's Day today at a special event to be held at the Siribopura Singapore Community Hall in Hambantota under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa.

In a message to mark the International Women's Day, President Rajapaksa said the terrorism that plagued the country for nearly three decades was a huge barrier to ensure women's economic empowerment and guarantee their dignity, honour and security. By eliminating terrorism his government has created a healthy environment for all the women to live in the country with self-esteem.

The President pointed out that alcoholism and poverty oppress the women and they can immensely contribute to the poverty eradication programs that can uplift their lives.

"Even though the main barrier for development of Sri Lanka has been removed, as a nation we are yet to overcome many more challenges," President Rajapaksa said in his message.

Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka in his message to mark the day said the country's future will be prosperous if the contribution of women to the society is used productively.

The Prime Minister praised the women for their selfless dedication to the unity of the country.

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