‘Nippon Maru voyage reconciles nations’

NYC Director General Erandika Weliange addressing the gathering, while others look on. Pictures by Saman Sri Wedage.

The ship Nippon Maru carrying 243 youth from around the world, was anchored at the Colombo Port, today, providing those on board the opportunity to discuss solutions to issues of their countries, said National Youth Council (NYC) Director General Erandika Weliange, yesterday.

He was addressing the media conference held on board the Nipon Maru ship which made its 29th visit to the country, yesterday, as a part of the Ship for World Youth (SWY) programme organized by the Cabinet Office of the Japanese Government.

He added that another objective of this annual voyage was to build reconciliation, peace and friendship among nations and that the voyage includes participants from 11 countries, including 12 from Sri Lanka.

The Nippon Maru would be docked at Colombo Port until February 17, and the programme would conclude at Yokohama Port, Japan, on February 29.

He further said the youth aboard the ship would take part in many events and programmes in the country until Friday.

They would join a study tour with students of the Colombo University and ten field visits have been organized for them to take part in. He added that there would be a cultural show at the Maharagama Youth Centre on Friday, in which these youths would also perform.

He also said that around Rs. 4 million was spent on each youth by the Japanese government and added that participants of earlier voyages have been quite productive that most of them have become parliamentarians, editors, and president’s counsels.

A welcome ceremony was held at the Port with the participation of National Policies and Economic Affairs State Minister Niroshan Perera.

The participants were scheduled to meet the President and the Prime Minister as well, yesterday.

National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary Dr. K. A. S. Keeragala, Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan Senior Advisor Janaka Bandaranaike, Alumni Chairman Buddhika Iddamalgoda, National Youth Council Director Sunil Karunaratne, and leader of the Sri Lankan participants Chamal Randunu Amaraweera also addressed the occasion.

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