July 16, Colombo: In an effort to promote social integration to minimize disparities in civil rights and promotes social interaction and co-existence to ultimately create a united nation, the Sri Lankan government has declared the week from July 16 to 22 as Social Integration Week.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa ceremonially declared the Social Integration Week at the Temple Tress today.
The National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara presented the Social Integration Policy Framework to the President at the occasion. The policy aims to reintegrate all ethnic groups as one nation shedding petty social and cultural differences.
The Policy Framework has been formulated by the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration. Protection of fundamental rights and human rights of all citizens and ensuring social and legal security and socio economic security are the main goals of the Policy Framework.
Addressing the occasion, the President said the equality should be built among citizens as in the case of communities and they should be able to solve their problems as a community defeating narrow goals.
He emphasized the need to integrate schools as the schools in the country are divided on ethnic basis and not serving the country's goals for a united nation.
He pointed out the need to eliminate the suspicion among communities and the government launched the trilingual policy to achieve that goal.
Emphasizing that he will fulfill the responsibility of building equality among communities as well as citizens, the President said the government alone cannot achieve the ethnic harmony and urged everyone to set aside differences and join hands.
The President said he believed that nothing can be achieved without reaching equality in society.
Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the government is committed to regroup the society by giving all due rights to all individuals of the society.
A large number of ministers and parliamentarians, religious leaders of all faiths and members of diplomatic community also participated in the occasion.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)