Planting trees will not only be instrumental in creating a generation that loves the country but also set an example to the entire world. President Rajapaksa expressed this view while inaugurating the National Tree Planting Campaign launched in his honour.
The President said people are participating in a programme that gives life to the nation. This country is leading developed countries in the protection of environment. He noted that in the past too this country has been environmentally friendly. He recalled that before a tree was cut down or a fruit was plucked in his village the people worshipped the tree. If one tree was cut down another was planted. The message given by the nature is that it will give life, if it is protected. He expressed hope that this programme will contribute towards creating a generation that loves the environment and the country.
The National Programme of Tree Planting was held under the patronage of the President at the President’s House with the aim of creating a country bestowed with natural beauty in abundance. All religious observances were held prior to the commencement of the programme. Pansil was administered by the Chief Incumbent of the Jethawana Vihare the Ven. Murugasyaye Gnanissara thera. The Ven. Prof. Ittedemaliye Indasara thera of the Sri Lanka Buddhist and Pali University extended Buddhist blessings. Kurukkal Mohan Sharma of the Religious Alliance for National Unity performed Hindu rituals. The President of the Alliance for Inter-religious Unity Moulavi Seyed Hassan Moulana of Dawatagaha Mosque thereafter extended blessings. Rev. Fr. Sixtus Kurukulasooriya led the Christian religious observances. At 7 minutes past 10.00 this morning the tree planting campaign was launched amidst chanting of Seth Pirith by the Maha Sangha. Inaugurating the programme President Mahinda Rajapaksa planted a “Kiri-palu” sapling in the President’s House premises. This tree that is said to have provided shelter to the Buddha is found only in India and Sri Lanka. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa also planted a sapling. The President unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa also addressed the gathering. Several Parliamentarians were among those present.