Feb 14, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has realized that it is the government's responsibility to provide the necessary environment and resources for the country's youth to develop themselves to become productive citizens, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
Addressing a ceremony held to unveil the National Youth Policy (NYP) at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday (February 14), the President said thousands of Sri Lankan youth were unable to spend their period of adolescence in a nurturing environment due to the decade long terrorist conflict and the two uprisings in the1970s and 80s by Marxist rebels.
He pointed out that the government has now provided a stable environment for the country's youth and the solutions to their problems that have persisted for decades. He added that the government has taken maximum measures to dispel youth unrest by providing jobs to unemployed graduates.
"Today the youth in the North are able to stand along with the youth in the South in freedom," said the President.
The disparity between the village and the town, which has given rise to youth uprisings have been minimized and the technology facilities have now been provided to the rural areas to the maximum possible extent as well.
The President appealed to the young generation to change their attitudes and socialize, without restricting their attention only to books.
Over 5,000 youth from all over the country, including the aborigine youth attended the event.
The National Youth Policy is formulated in order to assess the situation and needs of the youth population and to provide a framework for ensuring that the youth of the country are provided with adequate resources and a nurturing, and a protective environment in which they can develop themselves to fulfill their potential.
The National Youth Policy is an initiative of the Youth Ministry, with support from the National Youth Services Council and the Open University of Sri Lanka.
Senior Ministers A.H. M. Fowzie and Athauda Seneviratne, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, MPs Namal Rajapaksa, Duminda de Silva, J.R. P. Suriyapperuma, secretary of the Ministry of Youth B wijeratna and the Chairman of the National Youth Services Association Lalith Piyum Perera participated in the event.
(Photos by Nalin Hewapathirana)