President Maithripala Sirisena says a National Fund will be established within the next two weeks to take action towards ensuring the protection of the children. Through this initiative it is expected to further strengthen and expeditiously implement the programmes launched by the government for the benefit of the children while taking into consideration the recommendations in the special social research reports regarding the difficulties faced by the children.
He made these remarks addressing the Colombo District conference of the “Let’s Protect Children national program, held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, Colombo, today (20th).
The President further said that a broad social dialogue regarding the protection of children is needed as a result of various social challenges arisen in today’s society. President Sirisena said that the objective of this is to create a broad dialogue and discussion in all the fields about the challenges faced by the present younger generation.
The President pointed out the importance of educating the parents regarding taking action for the protection of children. Expressing his views regarding the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination the President said that he is agreeable to the decision of abolishing the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination. The Grade 5 Scholarship Examination is not the main milestone which will decide the future of the children and all must pay their attention regarding the affects it will cause for children’s mental health.
While the government is committed to fulfill the duties and responsibilities towards children as mentioned in the United Nations Ordinance for Children, he would take the fullest responsibility to accomplish the duties on behalf of the children of the country, mentioned the President.
The President said that the Presidntial Secretariat has launched the project, ‘Daruwan Surakimu’ as a prime program for securing the children, which is the lifeline of the nation and building an environment which is applicable for the development of their physical and mental health. To safeguard the children from the harmful environment prevailing in the society currently is identified as a key importance of this project and under this program the eradication of abuse and misuse, ensuring security, health and nutrition, personality development, uplifting education and life skills have been included. Under this, health, education, mental health counseling, legal consultation and several fields are included in those programs which are conducted for children.
Senior Lecturer and Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Chaminda Weerasiriwardhana and Consultant Dr. Nawaz Jifri delivered the special lectures on children’s personality development and health.
In this event presided over by President Sirisena several programs including granting of financial provisions to assist schools with disabled children in the Western Province, providing financial provisions for providing repairs to children’s homes, provision of equipment for five Early Childhood Development Centers, drinking water facility for schools without water facilities have taken place. A financial allocation of Rs. 14 million was made for the implementation of the ‘Ape Araul Apima Visadamu’ and ‘school’s mediation program’.
Minister of Women’s and children’s affairs Ms. Chandrani Bandara, Western Province Governor Mr. Asad Sali and Minister Mr. Isura Dewapriya, Provincial Ministers Mr. Gamini Thilakasiri, Mr. Ranjith Somawansha, Mr. Lalith Wanigarathne and Colombo District Secretary and public officials, School Principles, teachers, college students were also present on this event.