As part of the ongoing initiatives to involve the public fully in events connected with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November, the Ministry of External Affairs convened a meeting on 17 July to organize a programme in schools throughout the country.
Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris said that the government considers it vitally important to involve the entire country as stakeholders in this historic event. Especially significant segment of the community consists of teachers and students in schools, as an opinion leading group, and the purpose of the discussion is to formulate an imaginative programme in this regard, he said.
Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena explained ways and means of reaching out to schoolchildren, their teachers, principals and parents in order to create awareness among them with regard to CHOGM 2013, its value and benefits.
Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma commented on the value of the programme and made several practical suggestions.
Western Provincial Council Minister Udaya Gammanpila offered some perspectives on the practical advantages accruing to the country from the Commonwealth event.
Governors of Provinces, Chief Ministers of Provincial Councils and Provincial Ministers of Education presented their views on the organization of this series of events covering the whole country, to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Mrs. Indrani Sugathadasa, Chairperson of the CHOGM Sub-Committee on Social Activities, participated in the discussion.
Among the activities planned were an all-Island essay competition for schoolchildren at senior, medium and junior levels in all three languages, debates at national and provincial levels, an all-Island art and poster competition and a quiz competition.