President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the government was committed to protecting free education. He added that while protecting free education it is also making changes to the education system to suit the present day demands.
President Rajapaksa was speaking at a meeting with the old boys and the teachers of Mahinda College and Richmond College, Galle at Temple Trees, challenged those who level allegations that the government had struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to privatize government schools, to prove their charges.
"We have provided physical resources to all schools," he added. The President said that the country had a few national schools and thousands of students are vying to be admitted to them.
"The Sri Lankan population is being challenged by the Diaspora living in Europe and Western countries. You may have seen what these nefarious elements did when our cricketers played important matches," he said.
"These treacherous elements oppose our sportsmen as they bring honour to the country." The President added that every student should feel for his motherland.
He said that Sri Lankans participate in sporting events at national and international level to bring honour to the country. "We can accept defeat and victory in the same vein in sports," he said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that Richmond and Mahinda Colleges in Galle produced generations of students who manifestly loved their motherland. The President added that he cannot allow lawlessness to prevail in the country.
"We have started making revolutionary changes in the education system through Mahindaodaya laboratories," the President added.
"The students of these schools were patriotic and the present generation of students of these schools who have an understanding of the history of Mahinda and Richmond Colleges are destined to gain more opportunities. It was the students of Mahinda College, Galle who sang the national anthem for the country's first Independence Day as veteran musician Ananda Samarakoon was attached to Mahinda College," he said.
"Richmond College in Galle is no exception. Former Education Minister C.W.W. Kannangara who was also an old boy of Richmond College introduced free education to the country at a time when heavy weights of thw United National Party raised objection to the move," the President said. "I am also proud as My farther who was an old boy of Richmond College was able to vote for the Free Education Act in the Legislature. "These two schools situated in the city of Galle have been offered many opportunities by history," the President said. A number of Rajapaksas such as D.C. Rajapaksa, D.M. Rajapaksa received their education at Richmond College . Many distinguished personalities such as Dr. S.A. Wickremesinghe, and Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne were educated at Mahinda College, Galle.
The President added that D.M. Rajapaksa who studied at the Richmond Colege in Galle led a campaign to flush out the imperialists from the country while Dr. S.A. Wickremesinghe of Mahinda College continued this campaign by establishing the Communist Party.