Jan 10, Colombo: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a special program Monday to mark National Integration and Reconciliation week.
The proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, to declare the week from 08 to 14 January every year, starting from 2017, as the national integration and reconciliation week, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 21 December 2016.
Under the proposal a number of events are to be held island wide to promote unity, peace, understanding and mutual trust amongst all communities in Sri Lanka.
The National flag was hoisted in the presence of all members of the staff and the national anthem was sung in both languages, Sinhala and Tamil, followed by the Reading of the Pledge for National Integration and Reconciliation. The text of the pledges follows below.
Thereafter, remarks were delivered on the importance of National Integration and reconciliation, for Sri Lanka, and the need to respect the country's rich diversity of ethnicity, religion and language.
Sri Lanka Missions abroad also commenced the week, by having events to mark the National Integration and Reconciliation week, including the reading of the Pledge given below.
PLEDGE FOR NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND RECONCILIATION
"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.