SLU to host Future Leader’s Confab in Jaffna

by Tracy Kumarapeli

Sri Lanka Unites (SLU) will be hosting the Future Leader’s Conference for school children who have exhibited potential for leadership, in Jaffna from August 28 to September 1.

With five days of intense and stringent skills training for the selected youth from different ethnic origins, the conference seeks to instil a true sense of "Sri Lankanness" in this chosen group of young people. Dispelling the doctrine of nationalism based on caste and creed, these future leaders will then spread the message to the other parts of society.

"If the future is not to repeat itself, the old stereotypes must be avoided; a new spirit of cooperation and understanding must be forged. Instilling a vision of a hopeful future in the youth of this nation is of vital importance", says Prashan De Visser, President, SLU.

‘This is one of the goals that the SLU hopes to achieve within the 500 odd youth leaders from 75 schools across the country. Trained volunteers from universities in Sri Lanka and overseas will be mentoring these young minds including Diaspora delegates from seven countries", he told a news conference last week.

Motivational speakers and leadership gurus such as Ambassador S. Palihakkara, Ashroff Omar and Priyan Fernando, will be present during the five-day workshop.

De Visser said that everyone was eager to see the day when a future leadership conference will be held in the north. That day has finally arrived. Through the programs organized, the student leaders could get a glimpse of what Sri Lanka could look like in the future.

The movement along with the Jaffna College has been at it for over six months in making this event a huge success. It is quite clear that the SLU has been gaining a lot of momentum throughout the years and with experience gained and commitment demonstrated each conference tops the last one, he noted.

"We need the students to experience the culture in Jaffna. Last year, the conference was held in Kandy and students from different walks of life got to experience the Sinhala Buddhist culture of the Central Province, but now it is crucial that they experience the North", De Visser said.

The conference will host a set of fringe events as well, including musical concerts where leading Sri Lankan entertainers will perform. During the closing ceremony, awards will be presented to students who have shown leadership skills.

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