Jan 10, Washington, DC: Based on a concept of President Maithripala Sirisena, for the first time, the week from January 8 -14 was declared the National Integration and Reconciliation Week by the Government of Sri Lanka.
To mark this initiative in Washington D.C., the staff of the Embassy of Sri Lanka commenced the workday on Monday taking a pledge to work towards national integration and reconciliation.
After hoisting the National Flag and singing the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil, the following Pledge for National Integration and Reconciliation was made by all Embassy employees.
"While respecting the richness of our diversity of different ethnicities, religions, regions and languages,
With the firm objective of making National Integration a reality in Sri Lanka,
We all solemnly pledge in this manner.
We are members of one and the same human race.
We will strive resolutely with determination to foster peace among all citizens and communities in Sri Lanka
with understanding, mutual trust, and a boundless sense of unity and compassion amongst all of us.
We pledge that we will join hands with one another to achieve this noble objective,
and build a prosperous nation with a Sri Lankan identity.
With clear understanding and recognition that,
to achieve sustainable development and prosperity,
national integration, reconciliation and lasting peace are essential,
we hereby pledge to act and work towards making these objectives a reality.
Addressing the staff, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam called for fully implementing the pledge by the staff in carrying out official duties and in personal interaction as well. He added that a Sri Lankan identity that respects individual rights as well as dignity and diversity of the people of Sri Lanka can achieve national integration and reconciliation, essential for sustained social harmony and sustainable economic progress of the nation.