International Human Rights Day

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Right hand means dignity; Dignity means Human Rights.
Drawings on display by the students of Gateway International College

"All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul."

-Mahatma Gandhi

The International Human Rights Day was observed on December 10th. This day marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. The International Human Rights Day has been observed since 1950.

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights held an outdoor event in Green Path, Colombo. Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe graced the occasion. The official website of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights- was launched today.

This year's theme was "Fighting Poverty- A Matter of Obligation, not Charity". Five main themes- Non- Discrimination, Equality, Respect, Multiculturalism and Dignity were used to promote the understanding of human rights at the event in Colombo. School children, artistes, activists, and armed forces participated in today's event.

"We have to respect and protect the human rights of our fellow human beings. But we do not put this in practice in Sri Lanka. It's an unfortunate situation. I hope that, we as students can be the role model for the rest of the society by practicing and protecting the human rights in Sri Lanka" says T. Sumith Thudalage (18) a student of P.M.W.Kamburuwala Maha Vidyalaya in Baduraliya

A short procession was held in Greenpath on International Human Rights Day. Main attention was paid to "Non-Discrimination, Equality, Respect, Multiculturalism and Dignity" for all communities in Sri Lanka

Students of Siddhartha Maha Vidyalaya in Wellampitiya presented a street drama on human rights

"Most of us do not have much knowledge about human rights. I learnt a lot today by attending the International Human Rights Day celebration in Colombo. More awareness should be created about human rights for us to respect and protect" says H.R. Mathurika Mihirani (15) a student of Gamagoda Junior School in Kalutara

A dove sits on the shoulder of a Naval Officer Ranjith Walgampaya

Anura Malwala of Prasannajith Abeysuriya Pahura Cultural & Educational street drama group acts as God

A cross section of spectators of the street drama

"All Sri Lankans should be respected and protected. We all should work towards permanent peace, and live in harmony" says Air force Officer W.R.P. Sandeepani

"The protection and promotion of human rights will lead to an environment that can foster peace. Any peace process must pay serious attention to the establishment of a strong system of human rights protection- this is crucial , if we want a future based on justice and reconciliation and not on retaliation and mistrust" said Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights in his message to mark the International Human Rights Day

People prefer permanent peace in Sri Lanka