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Religious Youth Service

RYS Alumni Celebrate UN's "International Day of Peace" in Sri Lanka

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Colombo, Sri Lanka – In ancient times, Sri Lanka was known as the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean", due to the fact that the Sri Lanka is blessed with inherent beauty and many natural resources. This contributed to Sri Lanka being a leading South Asian tourist destination at one time. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka has been plagued with war for the last 27 years. Thousands of human lives have been lost, and money which could have been used for the development of the nation has gone into military expenses. Lasting peace is therefore the central dream of most of the citizens.

To mark the United Nation's "International Day of Peace" on September 21, 2008, the Western Province Schools of Sri Lanka organized a talent contest amongst the school children. Many of the participants were RYS alumni. The competition was held from September 12-19, 2008 in Colombo. The theme of the competition was simply "Peace."

Sri Lanka RYS/IPSF (Interreligious Peace Sports Festival) alumnus, Ms. Dinesha Liyanasuriya (General Secretary - RYS Sri Lanka), Ms. Champa Kumaranathunga and Mr. Gerald Jacob were the chief organizers of the competition, under the able guidance of Mr. R.A. Kularatne (RYS/IPSF Staff), Mr. Woo Jin Lim (National Director - UPF) and Dr. Chula Senaratne (National Director - RYS Sri Lanka).

The competitions between more than 100 school children were held in several categories according to their ages. The youth sang songs and recited poems, danced, performed pantomime, and some got together to do dramas around the theme of "Peace." Finals were held on the October 19, 2008, at the Muesaes College, Colombo, where the judges had a tough time to determine final placements because, in fact, everyone was a winner in his or her own right.

September 12 - 19, 2008

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