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
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!