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Sunday, 8 February 2009

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BMICH bursting at seams, ‘Deyata Kirula’ extended

** Defence stalls most popular

The ‘Deyata Kirula’ exhibition has been extended for another day because of the intervening Poya holiday.

The organisers said the stalls of the Armed Forces drew a very large crowd this time, including ethnic minorities in large numbers have been an astounding success. The Sunday Observer spoke to some of the visitors who had travelled from far-flung parts of the country to see the exhibition. Ven. Walasgala Mahinda Thera said, “It is a good opportunity to enlighten the people of the urban areas about the culture and traditions”. The Thera said that many learn to respect our traditional values and preserve them even though the world keeps changing in this modern era.

A visitor from Bathalegoda said, “As we are in the process of liberating our country, visitors tend to attend the Armed Forces’ stalls more than others.

At one point, we were told to comeback later after the crowds get less”. Many students were there to witness the exhibition and stood in queues for a long time.

Ashani Madumali of the Homagama Central College said, “We were able to find educational opportunities and career development”.

A student from Yashodara College said, “We also understood more of other communities that make up Sri Lanka’s population and the armed forces is better after attending this exhibition”.

Says Honieda Packeer, of the Malay `Rumah Melayu’, “We wish to thank the organisers of the event for the help to set up their stalls and provide us with all the facilities”. Representatives of the other ethnic minorities said that many from their community came to support and witness the respective stalls to emulate their traditions.

A tourist from Belgium who was at the exhibition said, “We found it difficult getting in because of checking but I’m taken up with the Armed Forces because we all hope that Sri Lanka will have peace very soon”. Chinta, a resident of Maharagama, who had attended last year’s exhibition as well, said, “The security was insufficient to tackle the crowd, especially in the mornings when schoolchildren were present in large numbers compared to last year”.

She pointed out that last year, the police together with the Armed Forces had a very organised security check for all visitors, but this time, it was evidently less.

A police officer who was directing visitors to the exhibition said that the crowd is more this time than last time.

“Families shouldn’t bring their babies along and young children should stay close to their parents at all times because it is easy to get lost in the crowd”, she said.

The Sunday Observer discovered, that there were many who had gone missing because of the massive crowd. Announcements over the loudspeaker were coming about missing people, even the disabled!

 

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