Published on: January 7, 2024

The President held a meeting with the Chairman of the Civil Society Centre Mr. Arun Siddharth

  • Development Initiatives Planned for 100 Underserved Schools in Jaffna within the Next 6 Months.

In the course of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s four-day tour of the Northern Province, a meeting occurred yesterday (06) between the President and Mr. Arun Siddharth, the Chairman of the Civil Society Centre in Jaffna.

The discussions encompassed a range of issues impacting civil society in the region, with a specific focus on challenges related to caste. President Wickremesinghe reiterated his dedication to promptly addressing and resolving these concerns.

Mr. Arun Siddharth highlighted concerning issues, expressing regret about Jaffna based politicians residing in Colombo seem to avoid addressing these issues and he emphasized the need for a more vocal response from political figures concerning the challenges faced by the local population.

Mr. Siddharth unveiled the presence of caste-based schools in the Northern Province. In response, the President requested the naming of 100 existing schools and assured the Jaffna Civil Society Centre that these 100 schools would undergo immediate development.

Additionally, President Wickremesinghe pledged to investigate Divisional Secretariats that are neglecting public issues by prioritizing caste-related concerns.

Mr. Arun Siddharth, Chairman of the Jaffna Civil Society Centre, emphasized that a substantial majority of individuals termed as “missing persons” are residing in foreign countries. Despite this reality, those forming associations continue to assert that they represent the families of the missing persons, indicating a discrepancy between the claimed status and the actual whereabouts of these individuals.

Mr. Siddharth expressed his readiness for a debate with anyone from the Association of Missing Persons, asserting that these individuals are leading affluent lives abroad while identifying as missing persons.

Jaffna Civil Society Centre submitted a letter to the President outlining various issues faced by the people of Jaffna that have not received adequate attention or discussion.

The event was attended by President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake and a delegation of activists from the Jaffna Civil Society Centre.

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