Youth representative Gimhani Liyanage is urging young people not be politically ignorant, but rather act upon issues and to contribute towards society according to your own capacity.
Liyanage, a Masters student, was speaking at the launch of a social movement called Api Democracy yesterday, 21st Oct at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.
“We are at a time, especially the generation I represent, we are “super ignorant” about what’s going on around us, may it be politics or may it be in terms of current affairs” since it is a convenient way to stay out and not be involved in the process for changing it” she said.
She went on to say that it is ironic that these youths “who would complain if things don’t happen in the way it is supposed to be and blame the politicians or all the people who could be blamed for the situation.”
“As a youth representative, what I see and hear often within the circle is that they don’t really want to voice out and stand for what they believe in and mostly they forget the broader principles that they value and abide by and then start rallying around a particular person or a party,” she stated.
She went on to say that it is “essential for youth to engage in a more constructive manner to think how they can make things better and how they can come up with an initiative to solve the problem rather than discussing on what went wrong and where.”
“As much as youth enjoy talking about how things should have happened, I think they should take a step forward and think about how they can change the system,” she added.
Furthermore, she stressed on key important points, such as; “Let us not demand for youth participation in governance if we are not really willing to contribute more than just being keyboard warriors”;
“Let us not talk about meritocracy if we are not really willing to contribute towards it”;
“Let us not talk about co-existence if we do not want to build a culture where we learn to actively listen as much as we like to participate in conversations”;
“Let us not talk about a progressive nation if we are not willing to build progressive mindsets and also progressive actions towards achieving them.”
Lastly, to conclude her remarks she stated that “I would like to invite you rather than just talking about problems and trying to be a part of the problem only, let’s all talk solutions and take initiatives not just on Facebook and social media platforms; I believe change must begin with you and me”.