Q: In your view, has the aragalaya led to a united Sri Lanka – and if so, is this unity sustainable?
A: From what I’ve witnessed during the past few months, it has engendered the much needed solidarity among citizens.
The reason why everyone who stepped out onto the streets was able to work as one force towards a common objective is because they realised that despite their racial or religious differences, there is a resonance in their needs and opinions.
Indeed, the protests have been an eye-opener to most who were blinded by their inability to look past the discriminatory ways that were more often than not fed to them by those in power.
I believe that this unity is sustainable as long as we are able to avoid falling prey to the traps of corrupt politics and stay committed.
Q: How do you view the aragalaya – and how do you think the voices of the youth should be heard?
A: The aragalaya is a turning point in our history – it is a full stop to years of citizen apathy and the first step towards making better decisions in the future.
As the youth are the main stakeholders of today’s decisions, their voices and concerns must be paid attention to – and their innovative suggestions should be heeded.
Q: How will you be the change you want to see?
A: Nation building and reconciliation should ideally develop from one’s most immediate surroundings. It is very fortunate that at Hillwood College – with its colourful diversity in student population – I was able to learn to look past differences and accept people for who they are.
I would empathise with and respect others, which will eventually enable the change I want to see.
Q: Do you see yourself remaining in Sri Lanka – or returning to Sri Lanka – or do you think it’s best to migrate?
A: Currently, I do have plans of going overseas for higher studies but wish to return once they’re completed.
While I respect the decision of many who wish to migrate permanently given the current situation, it would be better to contribute to the country’s progression to make sure that it is able to retain its talent. After all, that’s the best way to facilitate the development we dream of.
MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH
Allow yourself to be disappointed but not discouraged.
SRI LANKA: FIVE BURNING ISSUES
Discrimination against minorities
Politicisation of many fields
Malala Yousafzai – Because she is a courageous woman who fights for equality.
When the youth are equipped with a good vision and stand together in solidarity, we will be able to begin a new and better chapter in our motherland’s history.