Sri Lanka launches tri-lingual initiative in Kalam’s presence
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched a tri-lingual initiative here on Saturday, aimed at making sure that all in Sri Lanka learn the three main languages in use here – Sinhalese, Tamil and English. The initiative was launched in the presence of former Indian President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam.
As part of the initiative, 2012 has been declared as the year for a Trilingual Sri Lanka, and a 10-year plan for a Trilingual Sri Lanka was also launched.
Addressing an invited audience at Temple Trees, the official residence of the Sri Lankan President, Mr.Kalam welcomed the initiative and outlined the characteristics that a noble nation possessed. It was not merely economic or human development indicators that formed the measure of nobility, he said, and added that it was the quality of people that was important.
Recalling a meeting he had with Former South African President Nelson Mandela, he said that Mr. Mandela, who had an indomitable spirit like Mahatma Gandhi, had taught the world tolerance, mutual love and respect. Recalling an episode from Mahatma Gandhi’s life, he said that when the country was celebrating its freedom, which came at midnight, there was one person missing from the photo-frames of the next day’s newspapers – Mahatma Gandhi was in Bengal, trying to offer solace to the victims of communal violence, he said. These lessons were important in the building of a nation.
Later, speaking on ‘Ignited minds of the youth as the greatest resource of the Nation,’ at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Mr.Kalam urged the youth to rise above, aim high, and be unique. “How many of you want to be unique?” he asked. Many hands in the audience went up. He reminded them that this was not an easy task. “You have to fight the hardest battle and never stop fighting till you reach your goal,” he reminded them.