The responsibility of the Government is to eliminate suspicion from the minds of the University students and fear from the minds of parents.
Inaugurating the University Students’ Leadership Programme the President said that no room should be left for the mothers to shed tears once again. The President extended his greetings to the new entrants to the Universities. He said that the students and the parents while being overjoyed by their achievements also entertain fears about the first day at the universities. Some students who follow certain courses also entertain suspicion when they pass out from the universities after three years. He said that the fear in the hearts cannot be eliminated through suppressive action or rules. He expressed confidence that creating a stronger batch of students will eliminate this fear. He said that he has seen tears of 60,000 people in the South and tears of thousands of mothers in the North. There is no possibility to allow any room for the mothers to shed tears in the future.
The resident Training Programme to develop leadership skills and positive ideas in the university entrants was inaugurated at the Temple Trees. Around 7000 students in 28 camps spread throughout the island participated via satellite. The National programme is being launched jointly by the Ministry of Higher Education and State Defence. After the training programmes which spans three weeks, a three month training programme will be launched to develop English and IT skills. The three week training will include decision making, development of team spirit, open-mindedness, personality development and overcoming the dependent mentality. The training also includes psychology, physical training, social graces and leading a life free of narcotic drugs. The Government is spending 90 million rupees for the programme. Ten thousand students are being provided training in the first phase while another 10,000 will be trained in the second phase. Speaking further the President said that the university students should love public property while having a revolutionary spirit. The President recalled the statement made by the Soratha Thera in the past that the universities should create leaders and not followers. The President stressed that the University students will not be provided military training. The President also addressed the students in Tamil.
Expressing his views Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that security forces’ camps were selected as training centres as there are no other places which can provide training for such a large number. Expressing his views the Minister said that they will not allow ragging to take place this year. He said that majority of the courses in Universities are being carried out in English while they are planning to conduct all courses in English. He said that the students who enter the universities this year should not be so desperate as to go to the politicians to ask for jobs when they pass out as they would have a higher self esteem.
Deputy Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake, Secretary to the Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne and Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof. Gamini Samaranayake also expressed their views. The students expressed their appreciation over the training programme.