Dec 03, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that people with disabilities should fully participate in the development process of the country.
In a message to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities that falls on today (December 03), the President said his and his government's hope is to see the dawn of prosperity in the lives of every citizen.
"In this process, the talents as well as the special needs of the differently abled people in the country should be identified and their participation should be included in every activity that targets the welfare and development of the general public," he said adding that his stance is to remove the physical and policy barriers to the participation of disabled persons.
The President said that every person benefits in a society that protects the rights of the people and the protection and support should be provided to the people with disabilities to overcome their challenges.
There are nearly 1.5 million people living with various disabilities in Sri Lanka and the relief for them was initiated by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa granting a monthly allowance of Rs. 3000 per family.
President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in his policy statement, has outlined a number of programs aimed at enhancing equal opportunities for people with special needs.
Meanwhile, the main event to commemorate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities was held today (03) at the National Youth Services Auditorium, Maharagama under the patronage of State Minister of Social Security Tharaka Balasuriya.
The disabled day celebration organized by the Department of Social Services of the Western Province was held at the New Town Hall, Colombo under the patronage of Western Province Governor Dr. Seetha Arambapola.