Sept 21, Colombo: Former President of Sri Lanka and the Chairperson of the Office of the National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga stressed that the country's universities should play an important role for the National Unity and reconciliation which has now been in need of a strong support and assistance to rebuild the bond between the communities.
"We all must work hard to achieve this goal keeping in mind that we are all Sri Lankans," the Former President said at an event held to open an office of the ONUR at the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (SEUSL) in Oluvil.
Addressing the students and staff of the SESUL on Wednesday, Kumaratunga explained that the ONUR was set up with the commitment to achieve National Unity and reconciliation and the objective and the purpose of setting up an ONUR office at SEUSL is to give effect to this pledge.
The former president pointed out that although the 30-year war that brought heavy losses of people and properties of Sri Lanka has now come to an end and peace prevails, the people of Sri Lanka are still not enjoying a healthy sustainable peace.
"In order to make this reality we are striving hard to achieve this goal and we thought the Universities are ideal places to initiate this project," Kumaratunga explained.
The ONUR chair announced that seven Universities have been selected to implement this project. She said University Students can be utilized as agents for positive changes by conducting various activities based on interest of each higher Institute.
Expressing confidence that since the SESUL in Eastern Province consists of all three communities this project can be given a big boost, former President appealed to all students to work constructively.
Kumaratunga declared open the ONUR office at the Faculty of Engineering of SEUSL, which has been selected as the Model Faculty for Reconciliation during her tour to Ampara District on Wednesday (20).
UGC Chairman Prof. Mohan de Silva, Vice Chancellor Prof. MMM Najim, Dean of the Faculty of Engineer Dr. SM Junaideen and the Co-Coordinator of ONUR Eng. MB Murshid received former President and her officials at the institute.
Certificates were issued to the students who performed cultural programs at the conclusion of the ceremony.