ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

A time for sharing and unity: President

The unity and fraternity generated by the New Year according to tradition and custom is a fillip to the country’s prosperity, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a special message to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The President said all communities would be strengthened by the New Year.

He said it was heartening to see the people of the East, oppressed by terrorism for over two decades, enjoying the New Year happily with their families. It is my conviction that we would be strengthened by engaging in New Year traditions and customs as one nation,” he said.

He appealed to everyone to stay away from alcohol during the season. “I appeal to all to set an example to future generations by abstaining from alcohol during the festive season.” He also expressed his gratitude to the armed forces and the police and others on duty during the New Year season to ensure security and other services to the people.

Conflict has dampened festivities:PM

The conflict raging in the North and East for years has prevented the people all over the island from freely celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said in a message to mark the New Year. Condemning the recent terrorist attack on civilians, the Prime Minister said the attempt by terrorists to disrupt day-to-day life by attacking a sporting event with the New Year around the corner was despicable.

“The terrorists are trying to sabotage the Government’s attempt to wipe out LTTE terrorism because they do not understand the value of a moral and ethical society. My belief is that our duty today is to contribute to the security of the public by helping uplift the morale of the security forces,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that, at the dawn of the New Year, he stressed the need to eradicate terrorism from the face of the earth in order for innocent, unarmed civilians to live freely. “I wish all Sinhalese and Tamils as well as our Sri Lankan friends abroad a very happy New Year and a peaceful tomorrow,” he said.

A new era, despite hardships: Ranil’s wish

In a Sinhala and Hindu New Year message Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe wished that a new era would dawn in which the public could celebrate the New Year giving prominence to traditions and customs despite the many hardships they face during these trying times.

“The Sinhala and Hindu New Year comes with a promise of a prosperous and bountiful spring but us Sri Lankans are facing the dawn of a traumatic period full of poverty, suffering and misery,” he said. Mr. Wickremesinghe said that it has become a challenge for the people to eat New Year kiributh and other sweets putting behind their differences.

“Another wish the public could not fulfil is to wear new clothes with a fresh fragrance,” he added. Wishing the public a happy and prosperous Sinhala and Tamil New Year he called on the people to rally around the hope for a better future.

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