Aug 31, Colombo: Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today expressed hope that members of a youth led organization in Sri Lanka will usher a new era in the country.
Speaking at a press conference held in Colombo Saturday at the conclusion of her visit to the island, Pillay said she hopes that current and future members of Sri Lanka's Youth Parliament will usher in a new era of tolerant coexistence when they graduate to the main political stage.
"I hope that the current and future members of the Youth Parliament, three of whom delivered excellent speeches in my presence, will, when they graduate to the main political stage, usher in a new era of tolerant coexistence in this beautiful island," she said.
At the government's suggestion, Pillay visited the Youth Parliament at the National Youth Services Council in Maharagama on Friday and addressed the third session of the second Sri Lanka Youth Parliament.
"This is a moment when the new generation in Sri Lanka can transcend the differences, prejudices and politics of their parents and play a transformative role in building a new society," Pillay said addressing the session.
She said she is encouraged when she hears about young people coming together from across communities to defend independent universities to say no to ethnic and religious violence.
In the media briefing today Pillay said the unusual institution, founded in 2010, is filled with bright, enthusiastic students from all across the country, and dedicated to a tolerant and all-inclusive approach.
The parliament draws on elected members of youth groups who meet once a month to discuss key issues such as the importance of Amendment 13 to the Constitution and the LLRC recommendations.
The Sri Lanka Youth Parliament is a youth led, youth run initiative, which aims to mobilize and create a network of young people to bring about positive and sustainable change to issues that affect youth and their communities in Sri Lanka. It provides skills and opportunities for young men and women to play a leadership role in identifying and addressing the needs of their own communities.