Monday, July 09, 2007

UNDP's Sports for Peace

The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), with the assistance of the Affected Women's Forum (AWF) and financial support from AusAID, has organized 'Sports for Peace' at the Ampara Urban Council Grounds. The purpose of the event, which drew a large crowd, was to foster inter-communal harmony and peace among the people belonging to the three major ethnic groups in Ampara District.

The programme began with the hoisting of the National Flag by the chief guest Additional Government Agent, J.S.D.M.Asanka Abeywardena, while the UNDP, UN, Sports for Peace, and AWF Flags were raised by OIC-UNDP's Z.M.Jaufar, UNFP's Ms. Zarrina Kurbanova, UNDP’s Ms. Dinesha Suppiah, and Ms. Vaani Simon, respectively. Following this, several doves, symbolizing 'peace’, were released and the traditional oil lamp was lighted by the guests. Religious dignitaries representing Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity then performed their respective religious observances.

Invitation tournaments were arranged for Netball and Cricket and were actively participated in by formidable clubs from Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim areas. The winners were rewarded with sports equipment. Chief Guest Asanka Abeywardena, Guest of Honour Zarrina Kurbanova, and UNDP O.I.C.Jaufer handed over the prizes to the winners.

Among those who participated in the programme were Director of Planning A.A.Bawa, Divisional Secretaries, Officials of the Zonal Education Office, and representatives of UNICEF, UNOCHA, UNCHR, ILO, IOM, UNOPS, UN-HABITAT, and UNFAO.

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