Youth Forum to explain ISGA proposals
[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 02:35 GMT]
“The Interim Self Governing Authority proposal of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has several good aspects, but some people who have only a cursory glance at the proposal are conducting a malicious campaign against it. It is our duty to explain the proposals to the youths of this country,” said Mr. Wimal Dharmasiri, the deputy commissioner of the National Youth Service Forum (NYSF), speaking at a conference in Batticaloa Sunday, sources said.
The two-day residential conference titled “Friendship Affirming Camp” is being held at the BIRRB auditorium in Batticaloa with the support of the NYSF, the Sri Lanka Youth Clubs’ Federation (SLYCF) and the Peace Secretariat at the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office.
|Assistant Commissioner of National Youth Service Group, Mr. Wimal Dharmasiri, speaking at the conference
Mr. Dharmasiri was the chief guest-speaker at the conference.
At the commencement, religious services were held. Hindu priest Maheswara Kurukkal, Catholic priest Rev. Sylvester and Islamic Moulavi A.K.M Ilyas, jointly lit the ceremonial lamp and gave their blessings. Mr. A. Thavarajah, the Batticaloa district director of the NYSF, gave the welcome speech.
Continuing his speech, Mr. Dharmasiri said, “For a long time, Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims, have lived united in this country. But some undesirable problems have caused strife between some ethnic groups. Without apportioning blame for these problems, we at the NYSF are devising work plans to create ethnic amity among the people. We are conducting Friendship Affirming Camps all over the country.
“Today a conducive environment for peace has been created by the government. In the past, after independence in particular, there have been several peace plans and agreements by the governments of the day. But these agreements were not implemented. When the Thimpu talks were held, many people of the country did not know the proposals put forward in the talks. As a result, even those talks failed. When peace plans are put forward, it is important for the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim youths of the country to be aware of the plans.
Christian, Islamic and Hindu priests lighting the ceremonial lamp.
“In the current ISGA proposals by the LTTE, there are many good things. Some people who look at only the caption are conducting a malicious campaign against the proposals.
Through conferences like this, our organization is spearheading efforts to make the people understand the ISGA proposals and analyze how these could contribute to peace. We hope this will lead to ethnic amity, peace and prosperity.”
Mr. Piyathissa Gamage, the NYSF’s director for development, the SLYCF’s general secretary, Mr. Sujeeva Samara, and its Eastern director, Mr. Pon. Selvanayagam, also spoke at the conference. Hundreds of Tamil and Muslim youth members of the NYSF and SLYCF from the Batticaloa district participated at the conference. Mr. O.K. Gunanathan, Youth Service Officer, proposed the vote of thanks.
Key speakers and religious dignitaries participating in the conference
Section of young adults attending the conference