Marching forward with children
Children of the world, I pray You’ll stay
alive to see the day,When calm, peace, and love will show In each and
every place you go. Throw away those deadly guns and knives And try to
salvage those many lives Whose hopes and dreams will never be fulfilled
By hate and bullets they’ll be killed.
These few words penned by Jocelyn Sxheer will tell us of the nature
of the world that children need to grow up in. But caught in many social
evils and terror, the children of today yearn for peace. The prolonged
nature of terrorism in Sri Lanka and the extent of violence and conflict
children’s experience have negatively impacted their lives in relation
to gender, age, socioeconomic status and religious affiliation. It is
hoped that by sharing the experience of inter-religious harmony and by
creating a platform for interaction among these children, this event
will enable to foster positive relations among different ethnic and
religious groups and promote inter faith dialogue.
If children of another country can voice together with the children
who live in a terror stricken land for peace, wouldn’t that effort
deserve warm welcome?
Being the members of an award winning world class brass band,
children living in Thailand will beat drums together with the Sri Lankan
children praying for peace in Sri Lanka on the forthcoming ‘World
The main objective of the team, with over 100 children who are
Buddhists is to voice their plea to the world to bring peace to Sri
A band, normally in its early days martched giving the bitter message
of the commencement of a war. These children will march the roads of
Negombo, Nochchiyagama, Balapitiya, Tangalle and Colombo heralding the
message of peace.
“We believe that when we love what the children love, then they will
give what we want”, Rev. Fr. Anthony Pinto, Provincial Superior of Don
Bosco Sri Lanka said.
He said these children who belong to poor families in Thailand were
happy to visit Sri Lanka as they were waiting to contribute their share
to create an era where the peace doves fly in the skies of Sri Lanka
“They had a door-to-door campaign to collect money to buy air tickets
to Sri Lanka and the voice of these award winning drummers will merge
with the drum beatings of over 1,500 Sri Lankan children coming from the
four corners of the country including Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Mannar.
Ven. Konde Gammulla Gnanasiri Thera of the Agurukaramulla Temple,
Negombo said the event would be jointly organised by the Buddhist and
Catholic priests and would show the world that yearning for peace has no
“Priests of Don Bosco and the Buddhist monks in Negombo worked for
the betterment of the children for years. “We voiced against child abuse
for years. We all believe that we all can do a lot to make the world a
better place for children”, he said.
Taking a big challenge of cooking food for over 1,500 children, the
Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka will provide meals for these children who take
part in the children’s day event.
The award winning Sarasit Phithayalai School Marching and Show Band
are the gold medal winners at the 2006 World Marching Show Band
Championships in Korea. The children from nine to 18 years will perform
at the event and they have been invited by President Mahinda Rajapaksa
to perform at Temple Trees.
The band with the theme of ‘Marching with Children Towards Peace’
will perform music and sing a few Sinhalese and Buddhist songs.n