The Government is fully committed and
prepared to make sacrifices and be committed
to protect all faiths and their associated
sites of worship asserted President Mahinda
Rajapaksa yesterday at a ceremony to donate
financial aid to religious institutions held
at the Presidential Secretariat.
Rupees five million was donated for
improving 42 Temples, Kovils, Churches and
President Rajapaksa said that the
government would seek to establish 'Peace
Zones' not only in the precincts of sacred
sites, but also in the whole country.
"Every citizen of this land should have
the freedom and the liberty to enjoy the
right of religious worship, as per his
conscience. The terrorists grabbed this
right from the people.
President pointed out that when the North
is also liberated, the whole country would
be a 'Peace Zone', and the 'Sacred Sites'
would become 'Peace Zones' within it. "We
are obliged to protect our religious
devotion which we have sustained over the
years," President added.
The President pointed out that the
various religious units and ministries which
were scattered in the past, were brought
under one ministry, with the objective of
integrating all religious affairs under one
management and authority and averting
conflicts of any nature.
"We need integration of our society and
not division or differentiation. We
formulated diverse programmes such as 'Mathata
Thitha' with the objective of protecting our
society. This project to develop our sacred
sites would undoubtedly serve to achieve
this objective," President Rajapaksa said.
President Rajapaksa said that despite the
war, government had not abandoned any mega
development projects in the country, be it
the expressways or the Norochcholai Coal
Power project or any other. "We will not
abandon the development of the religious
sacred sites too," President added.