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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2401

Laying of Foundation Stone of the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre at Matale

Colombo, 26 April, (Asiantribune.com):

Mr. Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India laid the Foundation Stone for construction of the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre at Matale, Central Province on April 22, 2013.

The ceremony was held in the presence of ArumuganThondaman, Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development; MuthuSivalingam, Deputy Minister of Economic Development; and P. Rajadurai, Member of Parliament, Anushia Sivarajah, Minister of Tamil Education, Sports and Youth Affairs of the Central Provincial Council, Mr Hilmy Mohammed, Mayor of Matale, Mr. A. Natarajan, Assistant High Commissioner in Kandy and members of the Mahatma Gandhi Sabha, Matale.

In his remarks, High Commissioner Kantha highlighted that the construction of the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre was fully funded by the Government of India at a cost of SLR 88.60 million and that the Centre, with an auditorium, library, and a conference hall would cater to the wider needs of the society.

He appreciated the Matale Municipal Council for providing 80 perches of land to the Mahatma Gandhi Sabha for construction of the Centre and announced that the project would be completed within a period of one year. He emphasized that the spirituality flowing from all religions and communities would flourish at the Centre, which was one of the missions of Mahatma Gandhi.

The High Commissioner recalled that Mahatma Gandhi, during his three week-long visit to Sri Lanka in 1927, made a whirlwind visit to various cities including Colombo, Kandy, Matale, NuwaraEliya, Badulla, Bandarawela, Hatton, Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Point Pedro etc., to collect donations for his Khadi project. He added that Mahatma Gandhi made at least 35 speeches to Sri Lankan audiences and also visited many schools, namely, Trinity and Dharmaraja Colleges in Kandy, Zahira and Ananda Colleges in Colombo and laid the foundation stone for a female education centre in Matale, now known as the Pakkiyam National College.

In their remarks, MuthuSivalingam, the Deputy Minister for Economic Development, as well as the Mayor of Matale, thanked the Government of India for supporting this project and for India’s assistance for a number of other developmental projects including the flagship Indian Housing Project, Northern and Southern Railway Rehabilitation project, 150 Bed Base Hospital at Dickoya, Hatton, setting up of three Vocational Training Centres at Hatton, NuwaraEliya and Helboda, gifting of buses and 350 CEWET scholarships to assist students from the plantation areas, besides 440 other scholarships that enabled students to pursue their higher education in Sri Lanka and in India. They also spoke about Mahatma Gandhi’steachings related to truth and non-violence and his visit to Sri Lanka in 1927, which fostered the friendship between India and Sri Lanka.

The High Commissioner and Mrs. Sharmila Kantha also visited the Pakkiyam National College and paid homage to Gandhiji by garlanding his statue at the College.

- Asian Tribune -

Laying of Foundation Stone of the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre at Matale
Laying of Foundation Stone of the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre at Matale
Laying of Foundation Stone of the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre at Matale
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