10/01/2008, 00.00
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Children march for peace in Sri Lanka

by Melani Manel Perera
The island nation today celebrates International Children's Day. A series of concerts by an international award-winning Thai band is scheduled. The Salesian Fathers’ Eththukala Don Bosco Institute is sponsoring the performances.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – Today’s International Children's Day is devoted to “harmony’ and “peaceful coexistence” among ethnic groups. Celebrated across Sri Lanka, the event has given the country’s Catholic Church an opportunity to organise a special peace march that includes an international delegation with 100 Buddhist children from a Thai musical band that will perform in various locations across the country.

The group was invited by Fr Anthony Humer Pinto, from the Salesians of Don Bosco, and will present a concert at 4 pm local time in Negombo, at the Eththukala Don Bosco Institute.

The award-winning Sarasit Phithayalai School Marching and Show Band (gold winner at the 2006 World Marching Show Band Championship in Korea) includes children aged 9 to 18.

Their tour in Sri Lanka will take them to Negombo, Nochchiyagama, Balapitiya, Tangalle, and Colombo from 1 till 13 October.

At the invitation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha, the band will perform at the President's House tomorrow.

“'Marching towards peace with children” is the slogan Salesian Fathers chose to promote peace. Vocational training and other missionary-led activities will also be held across the country. ”

Sri Lanka’s Department of Probation and Child Care Services is also organising various activities to mark International Children's Day. Its main event will be held at Mahanama College where about 350 children from Hambantota, Ampara, Badulla and Moneragala along with children from other districts will participate in a summer camp.

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