By Chula Senaratne,UPF Sri Lanka
The UN International Day of Youth 2017 was celebrated in Galle, Sri Lanka, under the theme of “Youth Building Peace” on August 12, 2017.
The Universal Peace Federation together with the Ministry of Land and Parliamentary Reforms, UN Information Center, Youth and Students for Peace, Religious Youth Service and Global Youth Service Foundation joined together to celebrate this in a grand way.
Hon Gayantha Karunathillake, Minister of Land and Parliamentary Reforms, was the Chief Guest and the Member of Parliament for Galle district, Hon Wijepala Hettiarchchy attended the celebrations as the Guest of Honour.
More than 200 youth from all over Sri Lanka and also several overseas youth participated this event which was held at the Management Training and Development Center auditorium in Wakella, Galle, Sri Lanka.
Proceedings were started with the religious observances and the lighting of the traditional oil lamp. The Welcome Address was delivered by Ms. Dinesha Liyanasuriya (General Secretary –RYS Sri Lanka). Rev. John Gehring (Senior Advisor-RYS International) and Mrs. Ursula McLackland (Secretary General-UPF Asia) introduced the event and the organizations involved in the event.
Ms. Senani Dinesha (UN Information Center–Sri Lanka) delivered the UN Secretary General Hon. Antonio Guterres’ message on “UN International Day of Youth 2017.” Mr. Sachintha Dulanjana (Hon. Speaker of the Youth Parliament of Sri Lanka) stressed on the role of youth on par with this year’s theme “Youth Building Peace”. Mr. Reheman Abubaker (UPF –Sri Lanka) delivered the message from Dr. Robert S. Kittel, International President of Youth and Students for Peace, to mark the UN IDY 2017.
The Chief Guest of the event Hon. Gayantha Karunathillake (Minister of Land and Parliamentary Reforms), Hon Wijepala Hettiarchchy (MP for Galle district) and
Dr. Chula Senaratne (Secretary General – UPF Sri Lanka) also spoke about the importance of the UN IDY from various aspects.
Children from the SOS Village in Galle, presented several dances to entertain the audience. Dr. Ravi Galhena (Co Founder – Global Youth Service Foundation ) delivered the Vote of Thanks to conclude the event.