Mr.W.M.P.G. Wickramasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry on the one part and Prof. A. Balasuriya, acting Chairperson on the other, represented this historical moment.
The collaboration between the two entities will facilitate the National Youth Summit 2018 themed ‘Dialogue for Sustainable Peace and Development’ which is scheduled to be held in Colombo on 20 & 21 April 2018 at BMICH and University of Visual and Performing Arts, respectively. The MoU is to extend beyond the NYS2018, in which the SDJF has been accepted as a partner in the Ministry’s mobile film making project (Mo-film). Ministry nominated Mr. Bertram Nihal, a well-known director, communicator, visualizer, and a pioneer media artiste in Sri Lanka and Mr. Sanath Gunatilleke, a leading film star as key personnel for this project.
SDJF has been implementing the “Sri Lanka Forum Theatre Program from 2013 to 2017; a youth-led peace-building initiativein collaboration with the then Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration and the current Ministry. The success of the Forum Theatre Program has proven that greater collaboration among the stakeholders will lead to the effectiveness of the programs.
Terming this moment as ‘historic’, the SDJF Chairperson Prof. Padmasiri Wangasundera stated that, “Fostering a meaningful and inclusive peace and vibrant culture of diversity is a shared mission that allows SDJF to work with the Ministry. This partnership will definitely help both the Ministry and the SDJF synergize each other’s strength, experience, and resources to achieve this common mission. “
Prof. Abhaya Balasuriya, Director of Administration and the signatory for SDJF stated that ‘The SDJF has come to pass, yet another milestone in its history, by signing this MOU with the Ministry of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages. This can be interpreted as the culmination of the understanding between the two organizations, that existed since 2013, and been working together for a common goal, with no signed agreement to keep together. Ties have proven to be strengthening when both parties agreed and were satisfied this to be so, which led to the signing of this MOU.”
For more information on the NYS2018 please visit http://www.ldjf.org/youth-summit/
- Kaushalya Ariyarathne, Program Manager