Terrorism took away all the rights of young people. We are restoring all of them, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa participating in a Twitter Q & A session today (8).
Commenting on steps taken by the Government to get youth involved in the decision making process, he tweeted, “Youth Parliament is one. When I make the country's Budget, I consult youth and women. My Government has a large number of young MPs. Also, there are many in other elected political bodies”.
On social websites the President tweeted : I have more than 300K like on Facebook & more than 25K on Twitter. How can I & why should I block them. If I block these, I will have a revolution at home from my sons.
In a session that lasted more than one hour on the President’s Twitter account he tweeted in answer to a wide ranging set of questions regarding youth issues.
Following are excerpts of the Q & A session
What makes SL an exceptional place for youth compared to the rest of the globe? And, what progress do you think is still needed?
With peace in place, youth is the focus. They are given free education and all avenues for progress.
How will you and your colleges ensure that the western part of the world will engage and commit in future discussion on youth?
We are open to anyone. This conference is the best evidence for it
Mr. President, when will youth with disabilities be mainstreamed in overall youth agendas? Why have they always been left out?
Recently the Central Bank recruited 6 differently abled youth into their cadres.
Why aren't (many/most) public spaces equipped with ramps/ elevators to enable accessibility for the disabled?
We're in the process of doing it in all new buildings. SC has also directed. However, more needs to be done.
There is a govt ruling that 3% of all jobs be allotted to differently abled. Rs250,000 is given as housing loans.
What are the drawbacks in youth (Sp. SL youth) that cause unemployment in your excellency's view?
We don't seem to be providing the skills required in the job market.
Youth also don't seem to interested in available jobs due to certain misconceptions
How are the policies of your government nuanced to address the specific needs of youth affected by the war in the north/east?
Terrorism took away all the rights of these young people. We are restoring all of them.
Example: 2013 best O/L exam results were from the North. This is the result of our work.
Youth in the North are provided with all facilities that are in the schools in the South like IT labs.
What are the steps has your government taken to get youth involved in the decision making process?
Youth Parliament is one. When I make the country's Budget, I consult youth and women.
Women's organizations submit many proposals which are included in the Budget.
My Government has a large number of young MPs. Also, there are many in other elected political bodies.
Law college age barrier for attorney finally has a negative impact on OU LLB grads, any measure to overcome?
We are focusing our attention on this matter. We expect to give you a solution soon.
Access to quality education at a low cost can be the next frontier for engaging the youths. Will you do this in Sri Lanka?
We're already vastly improving our education system. Best facilities are being given to 1000 schools in the island.
University Students get only Rs 2500 as Mahapola Scholarship since 2006. Can they Expect Any Increase?
Yes, we are seriously considering it.
Studies indicate that there are about 10% of students who are most deserving of assistance.
These students will get a substantial increase.
Is there any plan to block social websites such as facebook, twitter etc in Sri Lanka..?
I have more than 300K like on Facebook & more than 25K on Twitter. How can I & why should I block them.
If I block these, I will have a revolution at home from my sons.
The land that was offered to SLSD by the state of Qatar is pending with the SL embassy. What can our excellency do to help us?
I will ask the External Affairs Ministry to attend to this.
I would like to address as a government, what are the future plans for BPO industry growth
Already there is enthusiasm to bring BPO projects to Sri Lanka. We have a number of them working here.
Your excellency pls take necessary steps to stop all forces trying 2 create religious disharmony in our blessed land.:))
I will not allow any form of disharmony. We have never had religious-based violence, maybe a few incidents.
Thank you for joining me for this discussion, especially the youth delegates. I hope this again in the near future.