‘International Day of Peace – 2023’ commemorated
The ‘International Day of Peace – 2023’ which fell on September 21 was commemorated yesterday (22) morning with the American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung participating as the Special Guest and headed by Minister of Justice, Prisons Affairs and Constitutional Reforms, President’s Counsel, Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe.
The special event to mark the International Day of Peace – 2023 was held at the Maharagama National Youth Service Council premises and was organised by the National Integration Division of the Ministry of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms and the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation. Speaking at the occasion Minister Rajapakshe said that steps have been taken to establish a system through Reconciliation Committees that will enable the high ranked Government officials to be quickly informed about any breakdown of national peace and harmony and went on to say that all the previous Governments that were in power had not made the necessary genuine efforts to build national peace and harmony in the country.
On this special occasion celebrating the International Day of Peace, with the aim of creating the background necessary for conflict prevention and resolution and empowering the community, civil organisations and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) engaged with the general public in discussion forums and a commemorative wall to record ideas about national unity on a board was placed at the premises where the International Day of Peace ceremony was held. The event included a mural project demonstrating unity through art as well as schools, universities and open sections which had organised photography, painting, poetry competitions, film exhibitions and discussions in a manner that reflects the unity and peace. The opportunity was given to see 21 different ethnic groups identified in the country and their unique cultural splendour, language patterns, religious values, food and traditional clothes that were displayed in 21 booths all in one place at this event.
The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation awarded prizes and certificates to the winners of the art competition held at national level among university and school students. American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chang, Secretary of the Ministry of Justice Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Vasantha Perera expressed their views at the event. All religious leaders, Chairman of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Unity and Harmony MP Dilan Perera, Additional Secretary (Integration) of the Ministry of Justice R. P. S. Saman Kumari, Chairman of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation J. J. Ratnasiri, its Director Deepthi Lamahewa, members of the rural Reconciliation Committees joined in the International Peace Day event.