Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the world recognises the 21st Century as the Asian Century and we should make the third decade of the 21st Century which commences on the 1st of January, the Sri Lankan decade.
“Someday when the world looks back on the third decade of the 21st Century, it should be recognised as the decade in which Sri Lanka made its mark on the world. May the year 2020 and the new decade be a period in which all Sri Lankans realise their aspirations and the country achieves peace and prosperity,” the Prime Minister said in his New Year message.
He further said, “With the dawn of the new year, we will be entering the third decade of the 21st century. Sri Lanka enters the new decade in a context where a new President has been elected to power by the people, with an overwhelming mandate. A new Parliamentary government has also been formed and is in the process of commencing work. With this change of government, the hope of a new Sri Lanka has galvanised and inspired the youth of this country. The most important feature of this new trend is that young people have spontaneously come forward, without any intervention from the government, to assume leadership over the task of building a new Sri Lanka. We have seen the manner in which young people all over the country have organised themselves and have cleaned the walls in public places and decorated them with attractive paintings.
This has transformed the whole of Sri Lanka within a matter of days. I have seen posts in the social media which indicate that similar groups of young people have been experimenting with the cultivation of land as well. All this is taking place through connections established via social media. The most valuable resource that we have as we enter a new decade, is this drive and motivation among young people to take an active part in developing the country. We saw a similar trend among young people during the war against the LTTE. The young people of that time never looked back until the LTTE was defeated and peace restored in this country.
It is my belief and expectation that the young people of today, who have been motivated and inspired to make a personal and direct contribution in building a new Sri Lanka, will not look back until they have achieved their objective of a prosperous and well-governed country.”