Workshop on ‘Democratic Youth Leadership’

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 September 2003, 18:22 GMT]
A five day workshop for youths of all parts of the country, including the Northeast province, on the ‘Democratic Youth Leadership’ programme organized by the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) and sponsored by the National Council of the Swedish Youth Organization (LSU), commenced Monday morning at the Trincomalee-Uppuveli Pastoral Centre.

The programme is funded by the Swedish International Development and Co-operation Agency (SIDA).

This is the first time a seminar of this nature has been organized in the Northeast province by the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, which has its headquarters in Colombo, sources said.

Youth workshop
LSU Sri Lanka representative Ms Malin L.Elisson speaks


The objective of this seminar is to develop a knowledge base among youth in relation to democracy, to build leadership capacity and organizational development and to promote a democratic political culture, the LSU's Sri Lanka representative, Ms. Malin L.Elisson, said in her brief talk to the participants.

The SLFI Chairman, Professor Bandula Karunatilake, and acting Director, Professor Jega Wickremasinghe, attended the inaugural event.

Rev. Fr. Leo, head of the Eastern Human Economic Development (EHED) organization, delivered the keynote address. Fr. Leo said "we need leaders with farsightedness and constructive thinking if the present peace environment is to be sustained. Youths who possess these qualities should serve in the public service and centralized powers should be devolved."

Youth workshop
EHED chairman Rev Fr Leo delivering keynote address


The change of heart could reflect through ordinary smile. However, permanent peace could not dawn in this country and it would be only on paper if no concrete steps were taken to heal the wounds caused in the past, psychologically and physically, Fr. Leo added.

Without identifying the true causes of the conflict and formulate an alternate programme to rectify the mistakes committed in the past, speaking of peace process would be considered a joke in the present context, Fr. Leo stressed.

The vital role of the peace process is to provide security to all and if one section were deprived of their security it would lead to ill feeling and other related problems, he added.

The LSU's Ms. Elisson said the country had no future if the multiracial society failed to develop tolerance, mutual understanding, respecting cultural values of others and believing in democratic culture.

The co-ordinator of the workshop is Ms. Hiroshi Gunathilaka.



Youth workshop
(R-L-seated ) Ms Malin L.Elisson ( LSU Sri Lanka representative), Mr.M.Pushparajan ( ICRC),Ms Martina Lind ( LSU consultant), SLFI Chairman Professor Bandula Karunatilake, acting Director Professor Jega Wickremasingha, Co-ordinator Ms Hiroshi Gunathilake and Assistant Co-ordinator Mr. Wijentha Ukwatta with the participants of the workshop

 

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