The University of Sri Jayewardenepura celebrated Thai Pongal on the 30th of January 2019 with the presence of Rev. Dambara Amila Thero, Department of History Sr. Prof. Sampath Amaratunge, Vice Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Dr. Anura Kumara, Dean Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, Prof. Samanchandra Ranasinghe, Dr. Praneeth Abeysundera and other academic and non-academic staff members.
The Colourful event has always been part of the academic calendar as an official University celebration that marks solidarity among the diverse groups within the university system. The Thai Pongal celebration is historically celebrated as a mark of gratitude to the sun that has provided energy to sustain us.
The main addresses of the dignitaries present at the occasion were based on harmony and diversity among students.
“Today the world is full of conflict; there is conflict within families, with other families, villages, and even in the country. If these conflicts develop it will no doubt be the downfall of the world. There is no quick fix for these conflicts; the only solution for conflict is developing compassion within people”
The above quote is taken from the last Radio interview of Dr. E.W. Adhikaram, the first chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura from the ‘Senehasa’ programme resonates the messages of the dignitaries present at the Thai Pongal Celebration
Rev. Dambara Amila Thero, in his address mentioned about this celebration of gratitude and the spreading of the message, brought to all by the Thai Pongal celebration. He also stated that celebrations as such within the university are quintessential to preserve harmony among students. He stated that the Tamil Community in Sri Lanka has played a great part in the history of Sri Lanka.
The Vice-Chancellor, too while appreciating the ceremony impressed upon the necessity of maintaining cultural harmony within the university and creating an inclusive environment within the University. He stated that the education in the Tamil Language is absolutely necessary in order to create a strong bond between the two communities and that it should be encouraged.
The Dean, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, emphasized the diversity within the university and the importance of preserving it through compassion and understanding. He stated that it is the duty of every person to value and respect all living and non-living things in the world and that it would lead to creating a sustainable environment.