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70th Independence and Youth

February 02, 2018

To identify their role for a sustainable future

For the 70th Independence Day which is to be held on the 4th of February this year (2018), the youth have come together in celebrating Independence Day for the very first time in Sri Lanka. Under the theme “70th Independence and Youth,” the forum on February 4, 2018, will be held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute from 2.00 p.m. onwards, organized by The Road to Rights Youth-led Organization.

Under this theme, the plan is to bring the youth together from various platforms to have an intelligent dialogue on many cross-cutting issues found in Sri Lanka. The National Independence Day is celebrated throughout the country, mainly in Colombo, with parades, the hoisting of flags and nationally televised speeches. However, the youth does not have any contribution when it comes to this except for the participation in parades conducted in schools. Sri Lanka went through many a struggle in gaining independence which was something that every person must reflect on and value. However, it is time for the youth to reflect on their past achievements, especially in bringing about a discussion among the youth on where it was right and where it went wrong in the process of building a better future for Sri Lanka.


After the gaining of Independence in 1948, there were two major youth struggles which took place in 1971 and also in 1981, including the conflict in the North, where we lost more than 200,000 youth. Behind these struggles, the main reason was the need to live, to have an income and to be employed. Including these incidents, Sri Lanka has been going through various social transformations politically, economically and socially. Today in year 2018, we stand on the post-war era, where there were many transformations taking place in the country. As a young generation, we have a key role to play in contributing to the nation building process, while identifying ourselves as global citizens. This was the reason why, as a youth-led organization the 'Road to Rights' is bringing in the “70th Independence and Youth,” to create a conversation among the youth to identify their role in drawing the way to a sustainable future.

The “70th Independence & Youth” Forum would take place with two panel discussions under some major points relating to youth and society, and it would consist of three key speakers, who would they would be delivering a speech leading to an open discussion with the participation of youth. There would be 150 young individuals representing leading youth networks, organizations, various sectors, as well as young professionals, young entrepreneurs, social media influencers, and journalists.


We also plan on incorporating the outcomes of this forum into a formal document which would be presented to the President, the Prime Minister and other policy decision-makers in the country. It would also be posted to the social media, blogs and websites. Delegates would have the opportunity to interact with the speakers, while the Forum would be live streaming on many websites. We will also mobilize young people to engage in the forum virtually through leading volunteer networks.


Courtesy – CDN