Last Updated : 23-04-2014 21:48

 
 

Youth responsible for future political landscape

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Harshana Rajakaruna
The Chairman of the United National Party’s Young Professionals’ Organisation Harshana Rajakaruna speaks to the Daily Mirror on the objectives of the Organisation and the duty of professional young men and women to contribute to the political future of the country

Q: What is the main objective of the Young Professionals’ Organisation?

One of our main objectives is to get professional youth involved in politics. In the UNP we have a number of eminent leaders who have emerged into mainstream politics through professional involvement in the UNP for instance Eran Wickremaratne, D.M Swaminathan and Dr. Harsha de Silva. The Organisation is also a good way for those who are interested in doing some backstage work in politics to also be involved.

We want this Organisation to also work as a think tank for the UNP, where we can advise politicians on certain topics.
Our main objective is to get professionalism into politics, where individuals who value a certain type of ethics are involved in politics. Because to the general public politics has now become a corrupt waste of time, we want to change this perception.

Q: What type of projects will be carried out by the Organisation and what has already been achieved?

One of our main activities has been to extend out membership and broaden out base. District wise we have already opened up the Organisation in Gampaha and we are looking to establish bases in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
We have already had a few events: panel discussions on contemporary topics such as the economy, foreign policy and education—we invited both young professionals and experts in these areas to speak.
We also hope to have some fund raising events and community projects.
We feel that the Organisation is a good way to also build a professional network that is willing to aid each other using their expert skills.

Q: In the past few years the UNP, is perceived in the minds of the public, as an elitist group that has alienated the grassroot level voter. Won’t an Organisation for professionals further this alienation?

Our strength is definitely at the grassroot level and we have had a withdrawal in that area in the recent past. However we have now made a conscious effort to correct this: 99 per-cent of all grassroot level. Organisers have been appointed and they are overlooking the needs of the membership. We are getting more members, youth and women involved.

For the youth we have the Youth League that is involved in organising grassroots level youth and we are working progressively towards these goals.

The United National Party invites Young Professionals to be present at the first meeting for the revitalization of the Youth Professionals’ Organisation (YPO) at five thirty this evening (4) at No. 30, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 7 (opposite SLTA)
The Agenda for the meeting includes the following:
  •     Membership drive
  •  Action Plan for the future
  •     Think-Tank Committee Forming
I don’t think that the Young Professionals’ Organisation will alienate the grassroots level, instead it will ensure that anyone can join politics.  

Q: What do you think the Organisation can contribute to the country and change the political culture prevalent at the moment?

We must realize that law and order, democracy, human rights and media freedom are at an all time low in Sri Lanka and it is the Youth that will have to suffer through this situation and a political atmosphere of this nature. It is therefore important that we take the initiative and make a difference for our future and take an active role as young professionals.
(DS)

 
 

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