Christmas in peaceful surroundings - Prof. Peiris
Minister of Export Development and International Trade and Acting
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Prof. G.L. Peiris said that
this year's X'mas could be celebrated by all segments of the population
in a backdrop of a visible resurgence in the spheres of exports, tourism
and trade, that has been brought about by the eradication of terrorism
from the country.
He was speaking at a gathering held at the premises of St. Anthony's
Church, Moneragala on the occasion of the issue of two stamps, a first
day cover and a Christmas card on account of the forthcoming Christmas
The stamps are of denominations of Rs. 5 and Rs. 15. Rev. J. Winston
S. Fernando, Bishop of Badulla, several Ministers and a large number of
the Catholic congregation of Moneragala were in attendance.
Prof. Peiris said that religious leaders of all faiths have come
forward to help solve certain social and other problems, the country was
facing at the national level. Even at the time when there was some
uncertainty with regard to the grant of the GSP+ facility, a group of
religious leaders representing all faiths in the country, went in a
delegation to meet the Foreign Ministers of Italy, UK, Germany, France
and explained to them the need for Sri Lanka to receive such tariff
concessions. This delegation was able to meet His Holiness the Pope as
The Minister said that this type of action augurs well for the unity
and well-being of the country. Sri Lanka, he said, has the unique
distinction of been blessed by all the four major faiths in the world.
Referring to the 'Love thy neighbour' theme of Christianity, he said
that it indicates and leads to a profound concept of social
responsibility and social consciousness.He said that while people are
normally concerned about their rights, many tend to avoid carrying out
Prof. Peiris offered the first stamp and the first-day cover along
with the Christmas card to the Bishop and other distinguished guests. A
special award was made to Isuru Tharanga Miranda, a student of St.
Joseph's College, Colombo, who designed the Christmas stamp.