Independence celebration: “Good lesson for Sri Lanka from Tanzania”

Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka W.A. Wijewardena has highlighted the Tanzanian President’s decision to cancel independence day celebrations in 2022 as a lesson for Sri Lanka.

Sharing a news report related to the cancellation of celebrations in Tanzania, Wijewardena said in a Twitter message that it was a good lesson from an East African leader.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, had cancelled the 2022 Independence Day celebrations and directed that the budget instead be used to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The 61st Independence Day event was to cost $445,000, money that will be used to build eight dormitories in primary schools around the country.

At the time, Tanzania’s minister of state, George Simbachawene also revealed that the money had been disbursed. He said the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development.

Usually, Independence Day celebrations are marked with pomp and state banquets. This is not, however, the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, then-President John Magufuli cancelled celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

In 2020, he did the same and directed that the budget be used to buy medical facilities.

The current president, Hassan, is Tanzania’s first female head of state. Currently, only Tanzania and Ethiopia have female heads of state, though the role in Ethiopia is largely ceremonial.

Hassan previously drew attention by ordering big-bellied policemen to lose weight to be more effective at work.

She also reversed her predecessor’s stance on contraceptives by urging Tanzanians to embrace family planning. Magufuli discouraged the use of contraceptives. (NewsWire)

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