Q: How do you view the aragalaya – and how do you think the voices of the youth should be heard?
A: The aragalaya symbolises unity, and the eradication of racism, corruption and oppression. Our country has suffered from corrupt politics for decades. Yet, it was always easy for people in power to control the voices that spoke out against injustice as we were a nation divided by race, religion and political parties.
For the first time, we are one voice that demands to be heard. I believe that if the aragalaya can remain impartial and continues to fight corruption, the country will have hope for prosperity.
The voices of the youth must be given a platform from which they can channel their zeal and attention to problems and creative solutions.
Q: How will you be the change you want to see?
A: By striving to be a person with integrity, compassion, courage and enthusiasm, and by being accountable and self-aware.
Q: As far as our education system goes, what are the pros and cons?
A: Free education is a national treasure. It has allowed people from any background to have an opportunity to succeed in life and a way out from the circumstances of their birth.
But the system itself is very outdated and inefficient, and is more concerned with ‘passing’ instead of ‘learning.’ It lacks instruction in creativity, individuality and collaboration. This has created excessive competition, and resulted in mental health issues and a mentality of selfishness.
Q: Where do you see Sri Lanka in a decade from today?
A: If we continue to stand up against political corruption, I see Sri Lanka prospering under a government that will think beyond the age-old political and economic policies.
Therefore, I boldly envision a sophistication of exports and the creation of a competitive private sector – and a time when we do not have to fly to India for medical procedures. We would be an education and software hub – and a destination for world-class Ayurveda and indigenous treatments.
I see a future in which government cannot violate the economic and social rights of the citizens.
MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH
Even cow dung can be an opportunity with a little imagination.
SRI LANKA: FIVE BURNING ISSUES
Facing the worst economic crisis in its history
Inconsistent and hindered education due to school and university closures
Scarcity of food, fuel, medicine, gas and electricity
Staggering downfall of the mental health of citizens
Brain drain with many educated citizens migrating
The future me – because I hope that one day, I’d be contented enough to genuinely say ‘yes’ to the question: ‘Are you happy?’
The aragalaya has been a seed for a revolution that is yet to come if as a nation we implement a radical policy change.