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* Every Sri Lankan should enjoy equal rights - President
Thu, Jan 16, 2014, 01:49 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 15, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is dedicated to implement justice to everyone in the country and everyone should live with equal rights, the President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

Addressing the massive crowd gathered at the President's House in Nuwara Eliya this morning to celebrate the Thai Pongal festival organized by the President and the First Lady, the President said that the policy of his government is to treat all its citizens - people in the towns, the villages as well as in the estates - as members of one community.

Speaking further at the annual Harvest Festival of Tamils the President said that everyone should dedicate themselves to protect the nation and future generation and it is the responsibility of everyone to build a country free of ill wills and drug menace.

The President expressed hope that the next Thai Pongal could be celebrated in a country devoid of intoxicants and devoid of religious and ethnic divisions.

He also asked the international community to review their past acts before making allegations against Sri Lanka regarding human rights and women's rights.

The President especially noted that his policy manifesto Mahinda Chintana has focused special attention for protecting cattle which is considered as a fortune by the Hindus.

Protecting cattle helps production of fresh milk, explained the President adding that the country should be adjusted to drink fresh milk instead of imported powdered milk.

Speaking of the opposition, the President said the opposition is belittling the country's achievements but the intelligent public in the country will reject their mudslinging programs.

The President and the First Lady also participated in the Pongal preparation ritual and the Gomatha Pooja, a ritual held for appreciating the cattle.

Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, Ministers Arumugam Thondaman, C. B. Ratnayake, Naveen Dissanayake, Deputy Ministers Muttu Sivalingam, and MKDS Gunawardena Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake and the President's Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath also participated in the events.

(Photos by Nishanka de Silva)

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