Day of Peace Commemorated at Sri Lanka's Youth Parliament

Colombo, Sri Lanka - UPF-Sri Lanka celebrated the “UN International day of Peace” on September 23 at the Youth Parliament of Sri Lanka in Colombo. The Youth Parliament was established in 2011 to strengthen social harmony and build mutual understanding among the youth of the nation after the heart-breaking decades of conflict. Thus it was very fitting to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace at the Youth Parliament.

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The last session of the eighth sitting of the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament on September 22 and 23 was dedicated to the UN International Day of Peace. In the absence of the Speaker of the Youth Parliament, Deputy Speaker Hon. D. Lasan Samindra presided. There were 283 youth members of parliament in attendance.

To begin the session, Mr. Rasitha Delapola, a Consultant with United Nations Volunteers, explained about the annual celebration of the UN International Day of Peace and read UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message for the occasion. Following this, the Secretary General of UPF-Sri Lanka, Dr. Chula Senaratne, delivered a presentation about the International Day of Peace based on UPF International's statement on the occasion. He emphasized this year's theme, “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future” and commented on how fitting it was for the Sri Lankan situation. Sri Lanka managed to permanently end three decades of conflict in the north in 2009, but due to various negative national and international influences, the country is still unable to reap the benefits of peace in terms of development.

Following this, several youth members of parliament expressed their views on the topic. In conclusion, the Youth Prime Minister of the Youth Parliament, Hon. Sihan Dammika Jayasinghe, offered a vote of thanks to the UN and the UPF for their commitment to peace and gave tokens of appreciation to Dr. Senaratne and Mr. Delapola for their contributions.

The Youth Parliament of Sri Lanka held its first sitting July 16-17, 2011. It has 335 members. This is the latest concept of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development to promote youth development in Sri Lanka. It provides a platform for youth to come together and be empowered as leaders and innovators and to network with professionals and each other. The Youth Parliament is helping to raise up a generation of youth who are responsible, democratic, respectful, and accountable.

For more reports about International Day of Peace 2012 programs click here.

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