President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the policy of the present government is to treat every religion equally and provide equal rights to every citizen.
He stressed that he does not approve of making the Palestinian people victims in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
He pledged full support to the programme of the UN secretary-general to stop the conflicts and establish peace in the region.
President Wickremesinghe conveyed these thoughts while addressing the national Milad-Un Nabi celebration held at Musali National School Stadium in Mannar yesterday (22).
The event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, and the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs.
Text of president’s speech:
Today, we are celebrating the birthday of the Holy Prophet here. This is the second religious celebration I have attended in Mannar District. A few months ago, we attended an event at the Sacred Madu Church.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs and the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs for organizing this event in a grand manner.
In addition to this event, development programs such as the opening of a new school building and housing projects have been implemented here. Mannar District is in need of development, especially considering the damage it suffered during the war. Therefore, we are implementing programs for the resettlement of displaced persons in these areas.
We are also continuing discussions about the construction of roads, especially in Mannar District, as reminded by the minister in Parliament. Education is another area that needs development, not only in Mannar city but also in other parts of the district.
Furthermore, we have planned a substantial development program in this area. Arrangements are already being made to establish a sea transport service between India and Mannar, starting from Kankasanthurai and later in Thalaimannar. India and Sri Lanka are also planning to develop the electricity system together, which will benefit Mannar.
This is just the beginning of Mannar’s development. This area has a high potential for a green economy and green energy, particularly with the available solar power. From Puttalam to Mannar through the Jaffna Peninsula to Mullaitivu, there is a great opportunity for this, and we aim to make Pooneryn the centre of this development.
Additionally, we aspire to make Mannar a tourist hub, and as the fishing industry develops, Mannar will experience a new economic boost.
Today, we gather here to remember the Holy Prophet. The same doctrine preached by Nabi Nayaka is what exists in Sri Lanka today. Therefore, we consider this celebration a national one.
Our policy is to treat all religions equally, and our aim is to provide equal rights to everyone. The Muslim community here faces certain challenges, and I would like to state that the government is actively working to address them. We inherited a country in financial distress, and we are diligently working to recover from that situation.
The Islamic doctrine of the Prophet has spread from Morocco to Indonesia, across Africa and Europe. When the Prophet preached this doctrine, people of different faiths coexisted in the region without issues. However, today, there are more significant problems, especially the Palestinian issue, which was recently debated in Parliament. We heard that 20 food trucks have been sent to Gaza, but we must question whether this is enough.
The Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip are trapped due to the Israeli-Hamas conflict, and we cannot ignore their suffering. We call for the necessary food to be provided to these people, not only from Israel but also from Egypt, along with access to clean water.
While the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, it’s essential to ensure that ordinary Palestinian people are not victimized in this struggle. Arab countries, including Egypt, are taking steps to address this issue, and other nations are showing their support. We, too, are committed to giving our full support to the activities of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Council in resolving this matter and bringing peace to the region. There is a genuine need for a Palestinian government.”