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The Sri Lanka Federation of University Women Celebration of International Women’s Day 2023

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Presentation of memento to the chief guest Prof Jennifer Perera by SLFUW President, Colonel Dr.Udula Krishnaratna

The Sri Lanka Federation of University Women (SLFUW), under its President Colonel Dr. Udula Krishnaratne, celebrated International Women’s Day on Saturday, 4th March, at its Headquarters in Kitulwatte Road, Colombo. The Chief Guest was the illustrious Professor Emeritus Jennifer Perera, famed Microbiologist and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, who addressed the gathering on ‘ The importance of Women’s Health in Economic Development. Professor Emeritus Takshala Serasinghe, the keynote Speaker, spoke on ‘DigitAll:Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’.

In her welcome address, giving an overview of its history, Dr. Krishnaratne said that it was set up as a non-political, non-governmental charitable body in 1941, even before the University was established. She paid tribute to the dedicated ladies who contributed to its development. Foremost among them was its Founder President Mrs. Clara Motwani, a young American with a Master’s Degree in Education, and her group of friends, which included Ms. Hilda Kularatne, Ms. Doreen Wickramasinghe, and Ms. Susan George Pulimood. Their foresight and commitment led to the expansion of educational opportunities for the girl child, a primary need of the time.

SLFUW Meetings were held in their homes initially, but in 1996, Professor Lorna Devaraja and Ms. Manel Abeysekara were able to obtain a block of land in Kitulwatte Road, Colombo, from the UDA. Finally, overcoming many difficulties the SLFUW was able to move into its own premises in 2006.

The program included the felicitation of two Past Presidents who were present, Professor Nayani Melagoda and Ms. Seela Ebert, for their leadership and service. Five scholarships were presented to University students from underprivileged areas. The President also thanked Ms. Indra Puvimanasingham a former SLFUW President, for a donation of educational equipment from a well-wisher in America. It was handed over to Ananda Samarakoon Vidyalaya in Wewala, attended primarily by underprivileged children.

A noteworthy feature of the event was the participation of members of the Visually Impaired Women’s Federation, with its President Ms. Violet Yakandawala, who had obtained her University Degree at a time when even Braille facilities were not available. She revealed the startling fact that the first persons to discriminate against the visually impaired were the family members themselves. Visually impaired children were considered an embarrassment to the family, and kept in hiding, out of sight of society.

The celebration was well-attended and well-organized, with dance items by the Sri Lanka Army Dance Troupe, and a song movingly rendered by a second-year law student at the University of Colombo.The General Secretary, Anjali Gamage offered her thanks to all those who helped the SLFUW in many ways including the Sponsors of the event, and the Council Members who did all the behind-the scenes-preparatory work for the celebrations.

The Sri Lanka Federation of University Women is the foremost organization of educated women in Sri Lanka engaged in community service work. During the past 82 years, it has made an immense contribution to the welfare of women and children in particular, and to the community at large in general. The people of Sri Lanka are facing extremely difficult times at present, and we wish that, under its aegis, the women of Sri Lanka will be able to help our motherland forge ahead in socio-economic and cultural development.



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Future of Sri Lanka will be determined by the economic policies implemented over the next five years – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the future of Sri Lanka will be determined by the economic policies implemented over the next five years.

The President delivered this statement while addressing the youth and business community in Mannar during his participation in the “Youth Conference” held on  Sunday (16).

The President initially attended the Mannar District “Youth Conference” held at the Conference Hall in Mannar Town Hall. The conference, themed “Journey for a Bright Future,” included an award ceremony where the President presented certificates and cash prizes to students who excelled in the 2023/2024 G.C.E Advanced Level Examination.

President Wickremesinghe interacted directly with the youth, addressing their questions and providing positive responses.  He explained that over the past four years, job creation was hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis and he assured the audience that the upcoming economic program would create new job opportunities for those previously unable to secure employment.

The President emphasized that it is up to the youth to decide whether they wish to advance their own future and contribute to the country through the government’s program.

[PMD]

 

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President assures that persons on pilgrimage to Madhu will not be hindered

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Addressing the Mannar District Development Committee meeting held at the Mannar District Secretariat on Sunday (16), President Ranil Wickremesinghe said  that it is unfair to arrest and fine pilgrims on their way to sacred sites like Madhu Church and Sri Pada.and assured that pilgrims visiting  Madhu Church will be provided with all necessary facilities to engage in their pilgrimage activities without any hindrance.

He instructed that if pilgrims are arrested in the future, the President’s Office should be informed immediately.

During the meeting, the President directed the Sri Lanka Army to clean and develop both sides of the existing Madhu Road for the convenience of the pilgrims visiting Madhu Church. He also said that a representative of the Bishop of Mannar, the Department of Forest Conservation, the Road Development Authority and the Sri Lanka Police should coordinate to ensure that these tasks are completed before the upcoming annual festival of the church of Our Lady of Madhu.

The DDC meeting, which focused on the future development plans for the Mannar district was attended by Political representatives and government officials.

 

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Abandon selfishness and embrace a life of sacrifice and harmony to achieve spiritual and worldly success – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his Hajj message emphasizes that to achieve spiritual and worldly success, individuals must abandon selfishness and embrace a life of sacrifice and harmony. It is with this noble aim in mind that Muslims celebrate the Hajj festival each year.

On this occasion, Muslims from around the globe gather at a single place of worship, united in purpose, to pray for communal values that embody the hope of humanity. The Hajj celebration fosters feelings of equality and brotherhood among all people, delivering a profound message for world peace.

I extend my heartfelt wishes to the entire Muslim community in Sri Lanka and around the world for a meaningful Hajj celebration, where everyone comes together to fulfill the aspirations of humanity.

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