Tamil Information Centre
User Name:   
  Remember Me  
Sign up  |  Forget password
    Contact us
Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Hilton’s Remarks at the Opening of U.S.-funded Refurbished School in Batticaloa
Published Date: 20/11/2017 (Monday)

Governor Bogollagama, Member of Parliament Moulana, teachers, staff and students, good afternoon and as-salamu alaykum.  I’m delighted to be here today to formally open this beautiful addition to the Bathuriya Vidyalaya school, and most importantly, to meet with some of the engaging young people who are studying here.  And let me thank the students who performed for us for their songs about unity and coexistence.

The future of Sri Lanka is its youth, and that future depends on access to a quality education in a safe and nurturing environment.  Originally built in 1976, this all-girls school was selected by the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) for upgrades based on recommendations from the Sri Lankan Eastern Province Ministry of Education and the Disaster Management Center. Together, the U.S. Government and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education have invested 95 million rupees (approx. $624,750) to build this three-story addition to the school.  This addition means that another 480 students will have the opportunity to pursue their education.

The walls of this new addition offer a safe environment for students to explore new concepts and challenge old notions.  The windows provide students a view of different landscapes of ideas, while the doors open to new opportunities.  This is what a school represents: a chance for Sri Lanka’s youth to learn, to examine, to challenge.  It is especially important to offer these opportunities to young women and girls.  The education of women has historically been overlooked in many societies, including my own.  I’m pleased we can provide this assistance to the future female leaders of Sri Lanka.