Sri Lanka is a nation that has suffered immensely in the battle for freedom, independence and security. All should understand this and act responsibly to safeguard the hard won freedom, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
Addressing a public gathering in Matugama, the President noted that Sri Lanka was ruled by the Dutch, Portuguese, and the British, using their military might at various periods in the nation's history and added at present, some nations were trying to subjugate the country again by using other means.
"No country has done so much work for rebuilding, strengthening unity and developing the country, within a short period of four years after the end of a highly damaging and prolonged war," he said.
"However, throughout this entire period we have had to face continued challenges to protect the freedom and independence of our motherland," he added.
The President noted that there were no bomb explosions and killings today, and those who took up arms to unleash violence have been rehabilitated and integrated in to society. He said democracy has been restored, political stability has been ushered in and elections have been held even in former conflict affected areas.
However, the President observed that despite these very positive gains some are trying to put the country in to difficulty using various fora and quering about the last three days of the conflict with terrorists.
He pointed out that the terrorists for nearly three decades massacred thousands of innocent men, women, children and destroyed the country's resources, while the governments of the day looked on helplessly, being unable to defend the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He said even some local opposition politicians were supporting these moves and added that all political parties in this country should understand that protecting the country is not support extended to the Government, but, support given for the country.
The President was addressing a large gathering at St. Mary's College grounds in Matugama where school equipment was distributed among all students who are new entrants to the grade one class in the Kalutara district. The equipment was donated utilizing the personal funds of Transport Minister Kumara Welgama.
The President went on to say that since the end of the conflict one of the areas which has witnessed a very positive transformation was the education sector.
By introducing technical studies and other similar aspects to the present curriculum, the President said the government has been able to diversify education, giving due priority to the professional sector of learning.
This is the fourth consecutive year Minister Welgama has engaged in this worthy endeavour. Yesterday, over 20,000 Grade One children received school equipment.
This program titled "Diri Uda" is a concept of Minister Welgama. On the occasion, three buses to the value of Rs. 10 million each were also presented to three schools.
Before the event, the President also vested with the people a new building complex for the Matugama Divisional Secretariat and a shopping complex in the midst of the town.