North-South peace sports festival proposed
[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 August 2002, 19:05 GMT]
A conference, chaired by the Minister of Lands, Mr.Rajitha Senaratne, was held in Trincomalee Saturday to discuss holding a four-day, North-South Peace Sports Festival in Kalutara, in the south of the country.
"Interaction between the Tamils of Northeast and Sinhalese of south should be strengthened to ensure smooth implementation of the present peace process," the Minister said.
Minister Senaratne said athletes and sportspersons from all the eight districts in the Northeast province and the Kalutara district, which he represented in parliament, would be attending the north-south peace sports festival scheduled to be held at Kalutara between 16, and 19 November this year on a grand scale. Altogether 1920 athletes and sportspersons would participate, he said.
"Cultural activities will also be organized during the peace sports festival enabling Tamil and Sinhalese participants to understand cultural values and pristine glory of both communities," said Minister Senaratne.
The Minister said, after the signing of ceasefire agreement, people of the south frequently visit the north and east of the country in large numbers. However, Tamils of north and east do not visit and exchange views with their Sinhala brethren in the south, he noted. To overcome this shortcoming, he has decided to organize a peace sports festival in the south, especially in his home district, Kalutara, inviting sportspersons and athletes from northeast province.
The Trincomalee Government Agent Mr.N.H.K.Nelumdeniya presided over the conference.