Call for unity, collective action for country’s progress

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the closing ceremony of the ‘Jathika Yowun Puraya 2018’ held at Nikaweratiya, yesterday. Over 7,000 youth from across the Island and young leaders from foreign countries attended this event. Here the President presenting an award to a group of young participants from a foreign country. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division

All should work in unity to perform the duty and responsibility of building a favourable society and country for the younger generation, President Maithripala Sirisena said.

The President was addressing the concluding ceremony of the “Jathika Yowun Pura 2018” youth camp at Nikaweratiya as the Chief Guest, on March 31 afternoon.

Nearly 7,000 youth including youth delegates from several foreign countries attended the camp. President Sirisena said developed countries had attained their pre-eminent position because all their citizens had worked towards a common goal in the interest of their respective countries.

The President emphasising the importance of all political leaders and political organisations working towards a common agenda, spurning private agendas said, unity and collective action would be a great strength to march forward as a nation. President Sirisena said the government was working with dedication to enable the country’s youth to achieve their hopes and aspirations. Speaking on this occasion, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the 7,500 youth attending the Yowun Pura Camp would return to their villages armed with novel experiences.

The Camp was part of a strategy guide youth on the correct path and enable them display leadership qualities.

“People of all communities and religions were attending the camp in unity as Sri Lankans. They should learn to live in unity respecting each others identity. This sense of unity should be preserved at all times with allowing anyone to drive a wedge among them,” the Prime Minister said.

“There is a great responsibility on the shoulders of the youth attending the camp since the country could not afford to go back to another war and separatist terrorism,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe the country suffered a great setback due to the 30-year terrorist war.

He said Sri Lanka was more economically developed than China and Vietnam at the time he was the Minister of Youth Affairs in the 1980.

“Ever since China had made vast strides in development and become one of the the most powerful economies in the world today. This same opportunity was available for Sri Lanka 40 years ago, but it frittered away due to the war and other developments,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.

The Prime Minister said communalism would only retard the country’s forward march.

“Youth should not fall prey to communalist ideas and hate speech spread by interested parties,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.

The Prime Minister said Facebook was an important mechanism but it has been utilised recently to spread hateful messages. The government did not intend to ban facebook but a system should be devised to prevent it from being misused to spread hate and communalism.

The Prime Minister said a better future should be charted for the country’s youth. To facilitate this the country should be developed on the lines of Vietnam and other recently developed countries.

“Tourism, agriculture and banking should be developed to make the country economically strong. It should venture into the international market like South Korea and Singapore have done. For this we should bring in knowledge and investments including foreign investment,” the Premier added.

“Today, Foreign investors had expressed willingness to invest in Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister said.

“The government would take steps to provide employment opportunities for graduates and students who have passed the Advanced Level examination. Measures would be taken to create jobs in the Private sector. The Youth Brigade would launch training programmes to facilitate this,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.

Minister Sagala Ratnayaka, NYSC Chairman and Director General Eranda Weliange and Yovun Pura Mayor Lakmadu Sudesh also spoke.

Ministers S.B. Nawinna, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Sarath Fonseka, Deputy Minister Indika Bandranayake, Shantha Bandara and Wayamba Chief Miniser Dharmasiri Dasanayake were also present on the occasion.

The Kurunegala District youth Club which was adjudged the most Creative and Best Youth Society at the Yovun Pura 2018 Camp by securing 160 points was awarded the winning trophy by President Malithripala Sirisena. 

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