North South Ties Grows In Sri Lanka
North South Ties Grow! Mother Sri Lanka children visits Jaffna to celebrate Deepavali
On the 24th, 25th and 26th of October, the staff of MSL and volunteers from the public and private sectors will accompany 150 school children from Mother Sri Lanka clubs in leading schools in the South and 50 undergraduates of the Moratuwa University to visit Jaffna on the Yal Devi train which is now in operation from Colombo to Jaffna after 24 years. They will arrive in Jaffna to unite with their counter parts in Jaffna, namely 150 school children from 24 schools in the North and 50 students from the University of Jaffna, to celebrate the festival of Deepavali and foster togetherness.
“These children have been born in this country during the war, this is the first time they are seeing a peaceful Sri Lanka, through programs like this, where the children from the North and South belonging to various religious and ethnic groups build lifetime relationships through joint programs, we hope to heal the wounds created by a 30 year gruesome war. We did a similar program in 2010 where children from North were brought to Colombo for a 5 day residential camp, which was very successful as well” said the Chair of Mother Sri Lanka, Ms. Janaki Kuruppu.
‘The North South Friendship Bridge’ project has been possible with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army Headquarters, Jaffna Government Secretariat, and the Education Ministry and all the volunteers of Mother Sri Lanka movement.
The Jaffna visit will entail a welcome ceremony, a buddy program, staying over in hostels in Jaffna, a sightseeing tour, workshop on coexistence, a pooja at the famous Nallur Kovil, and a shramadana to clean a public premises in Jaffna.
Today Mother Sri Lanka has now successfully implemented programs of this nature for five years under the positioning of 20 million relations.
Mother Sri Lanka is a collaborative effort of the public, non-governmental and the private sectors in the country leveraging on the strengths in each sector with leadership and direction from H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The movement aims to bring together diverse perspectives in an inclusive manner with empowerment and development as a goal in the long run. We hope that this will serve as a beginning to demystify the ideas about the past and to allow discussions on what can be done for the future to stand up as strong individuals and a nation united across disciplinary and practice lines.