Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that the National Youth Corps is one part of a visionary program implemented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe when he was the Prime Minister to create a generation of young people with ability and personality.
The Prime Minister also said that the program of the National Youth Corps aimed at producing national leaders is commendable.
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said this during his address at the National Youth Corps annual art festival and award ceremony “Paurshabhimana-2022” (පෞර්ෂාභිමාන ) held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo yesterday (17).
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena further said, “Almost three decades have passed since the formation of the Youth Corps for the future of the nation. The current President, did a lot of work to provide this space to the youth at the time he was the Minister of Youth Services.
The Youth Service Council plays a major role in guiding the youth who do not pursue a higher university education.
We know that the Youth Corps shoulders a big responsibility in this task. The greatest contribution of the Youth Corps to the country is the unity of the youth. Organizations such as the Youth Corps can make the biggest contribution towards the challenge of building the country in the future. The Youth Corps has all the facilities to help the youth in their potential.
This enables us to develop the skills of our youth and create citizens who can take charge of the future.”
The President’s Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President on National Security Sagala Ratnayake:
When Mr Channa Gunathilaka and I started this work, we did not have a National Youth Corps. The primary responsibility was to take the necessary steps to implement the concept of the President, who was the Prime Minister at the time.
Its primary need was to raise a generation of young people with a good personality, skills suitable for the times, able to give good leadership, able to overcome future challenges, ready for the job market, and equipped with positive attitudes.
This program has been progressing over the past 20 years. I am happy with the way things are being done without any political influence.
The most important thing for our country is the future of the youth. I extend my best wishes to all those who have received accolades today.
Also, I offer my best wishes to all those who have committed themselves to train these youth and giving leadership to the program. Today only art events were seen here. They were all excellent. I can imagine the excellence of the other programs. The Chairman informed me that the art aspects were practised while engaging in their other work.
The National Youth Services Council is different. If one enters the arts stream, then one will only follow the arts. However, here those who are training for other professions did the art presentations.
However, we need to be further updated. We must prepare to face the world. The country is transitioning from the third to the fourth stage of the industrial revolution. From information technology to artificial intelligence, (AI) and we are entering a fully digitized world. We should also prepare for that.
It does not imply that everything that exists now will be lost. However, we must prepare to face new challenges. Some industries will experience job losses. And jobs will be created in other sectors. Those jobs may be of a higher calibre than the ones we are accustomed to and there is a risk in doing so.
Today’s young generation has no life apart from the mobile phone. There is a danger there. How can we overcome that revolution without succumbing to it? How should we prepare for the future? We should proceed in accordance to make this country a world leader. The Youth Corps is the ideal setting for this.
I reminded the Chairman earlier that, while the rest of the world is suffering from climate change, Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable. In this regard, the Youth Corps can be of great assistance. Furthermore, at a time when the world’s youth community is united, our young generation has a responsibility to perform such activities for the country. The Youth Corps bears this burden. I have requested that the Chairman and the governing body look into it. Children are encouraged to prepare for the future. You should do a lot of reading.
We are in a difficult situation. However, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is enthusiastically implementing the necessary program to overcome it. He bears more responsibility than an elected president and is also capable. Today, he is only accountable to the younger generation and the people. He is carrying out his responsibilities properly. He is not attempting to please the voters. He is accountable to the next generation, the people of the country, and the country itself. He is carrying out that responsibility.
The economic framework is meticulously formulated. A country capable of working with transparency is being built. Even if an investor comes into the country, the investment will be made with transparency and employment opportunities will be provided to the youth of this country which will generate foreign exchange.
That is exactly what we require. The more foreign exchange that enters our country, the more income we receive. Only when the income increases can development happen in this country. President Ranil Wickremesinghe is working to ensure that envisioned future becomes a reality. He is working hard to ensure that you all have a brighter future. Believe in him. Prepare to embark on that journey as well.
State Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Rohana Dissanayake, Members of Parliament Madhura Withanage and Kapila Nuvan Athukorala, National Youth Corps President Col. Darshana Ratnayake, and several others were present on this occasion.