President Ranil Wickremesinghe underscored the significance of religious harmony for economic development. He expressed his intention to expedite the development program aimed at restoring the revenues lost during the war in the North back to the region, highlighting the substantial role that religious leaders can play.
President Wickremesinghe made these remarks during a meeting with all religious leaders of the Northern Province at the Jaffna District Secretariat this morning (06).
The President has outlined plans to address challenges faced by temples and churches within the Northern Province under the purview of the security forces. Concrete steps will be taken to restore these religious sites during this period. Additionally, President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed the possibility of constructing a larger temple than Nallur temple if desired by all religious leaders and guardians associated with Nallur temple.
Furthermore, President Wickremesinghe affirmed his commitment to addressing issues within Christian churches, with a particular focus on promptly resolving challenges encountered by the Madhu Church.
The President noted that Muslims had vacated these areas during the war, and efforts have been undertaken to facilitate their resettlement. Stressing the importance of unity beyond racial and religious divides, President Wickremesinghe urged the country to progress by safeguarding the rights of all individuals.
The President underscored the necessity for politicians and religious leaders to dedicate themselves to preserving religious harmony in the Northern Province. He directed the Governor of the Northern Province to engage with religious leaders and provide feedback on the government’s actions for the promotion of religious unity in the North.
Religious leaders, acknowledging President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s efforts to safeguard the religious rights of Northern Province residents and promote development, expressed gratitude for his consistent visits to address the community’s needs. Furthermore, these religious leaders expressed their blessings for the President’s program aimed at advancing the country through the promotion of religious harmony.
The Jaffna Inter Religious Council presented a set of proposals to President Ranil Wickremesinghe during the interaction.
The President assured that appropriate measures would be taken in response to the proposals, emphasizing that the initiatives would be carried out under the Department of All Religions in a manner that upholds justice for all religions.
Religious leaders, appreciating President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s initiatives to safeguard the religious rights of Northern Province residents and facilitate developmental benefits, conveyed gratitude for his regular visits to address the community’s needs.
Venerable Meegahajadure Sivimala Nayaka Thera, the head of Jaffna Naga Vihara, commended the President for effectively meeting the challenge of nation-building. He expressed appreciation for the President’s steps in visiting Jaffna, seeking advice from religious leaders, and believed that the President’s nation-building program would receive blessings.
Rev. Father P.J. Jebaratnam the Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaffna,, underscoring that the Northern Province, stressed that once a fertile region, is not undergoing development but rather redevelopment. He emphasized the complexity of building reconciliation, stating that it poses a greater challenge than both war and development.
Shiva Sri Kandaiya Kurukkal also conveyed blessings to the President, emphasizing the necessity of political determination to foster harmony and prosperity across all communities. Recognizing the President’s strength and determination, he expressed confidence in addressing the needs of the Hindu community.
The event was attended by various religious leaders, including Venerable Meegahajadure Sivimala Nayaka Thera from Naga Vihara, Rev. Father P.J. Jebaratnam the Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, Rev. Shiva Sri Kandaya Kurukkal and Raleem Moulavee. Notable personalities such as Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda, Member of Parliament Angajan Ramanathan, President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Jaffna District Secretary Mr. S. Sivabalasundaran, President Trade Union Director General Mr. Saman Ratnapriya, and President Community Affairs Director General Mr. Rajith Keerthy Tennakoon were also present during the occasion.
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