The Fifth National Youth Parliament’s fourth session, organized by the National Youth Service Council, took place successfully on October 28 and 29, 2023, at the historic Parliament Chamber within the Presidential Secretariat.
The inaugural day’s discussions revolved around the theme “Youth Proposals for the 2024 Budget,” with Mr. Rohana Dissanayake, the Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, and Mr. Pasindu Gunaratne, Chairman of the National Youth Service Council/Director General of Youth Services, gracing the occasion as Chief Guests.
The second day focused on “The Role of Sri Lankan Youth in the Face of Climate Change,” and it was graced by the presence of Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe, the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, and Mr. Pasindu Gunaratne, Chairman of the Youth Service Council/Director General of Youth Services.
Additionally, esteemed special guests, including K. Maheshan, Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr. Atula Patinayake, Principal of the Law College and Pradeep Mapalagama, Council Director of the National Youth Service Council, enriched the event with their valuable insights.
During his speech, Mr. Pasindu Gunaratne, Chairman of the National Youth Service Council and Director General of Youth Services, emphasized his commitment to enhancing the value of National Youth Parliamentarians. He mentioned that, following the President’s instructions, steps are being taken to establish the National Youth Parliament through a Parliamentary Act. The final stages of this process are currently underway and the upcoming young members of parliament will be appointed through this act.
Mr. Gunaratne also announced the readiness to fulfil the promise of establishing the National Youth Political Science Institute, which will offer a specialized diploma covering subjects such as politics, parliamentary traditions and international relations.
In his address, Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe, the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, highlighted the importance of proper training for representatives elected to the National Parliament. He commended the proposed Youth Parliament Act and the Political Science Institute as timely measures that will contribute to creating a well-informed group of people’s representatives in the future. The Minister also stressed the significance of empowering youth as entrepreneurs to address the pressing issue of unemployment among the country’s youth.
Additionally, Mr. Gunaratne announced that, on the advice of the President and the Minister, preparations are in place for the next Youth Parliament session. This session, scheduled for November 18 and 19, will provide a platform for young people to share their views on budget proposals and will be held at the old Parliament Chamber of the Presidential Secretariat.
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