The President has called upon the people to be united in achieving sustainable peace, harmony, equality and prosperity in the country.
In a message to mark Thai Pongal, he said it is a sacred day when gratitude is expressed to the Sun God for the bountiful harvest gathered. He observed that it is a day for Hindus in Sri Lanka who march towards development in the golden rays of the sun, to join in celebration with those of their faith worldwide. He joined in the Thai Pongal prayers for stronger bonds of friendship, mutual understanding and trust among all communities in the absence of fear and suspicion.
Prime Minister D M Jayaratne in is message pointed out that it is also a very good opportunity to remember thousands of innocents who lost their lives and the darkened future of their children due to acts of the so-called liberators. The sun of prosperity is shining in the sky again. Therefore, the Prime Minister said all should do away with petty motives and gains in order to prevent re-emergence of similar disasters and to secure a well-safeguarded and prosperous tomorrow for the future generation.
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe said the Thaipongal festival is instrumental in establishing peace and reconciliation. Gratitude is a human quality enshrined in the eastern civilization. He said in his message that the Thaipongal festival symbolizes mutual support and gratitude.