Hon. Minister of Ports & Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka yesterday attended the opening ceremony of the ‘Yowun Puraya’ youth festival held at the NLDB Livestock Resources Center in Weerawila, Hambantota.
The leadership and outward bound training program bringing will be held until 31 March. During the ceremony Hon. Minister visited the SLPA stall at the exhibition site showcasing all its services.
The mission of the initiative is to create a vibrant discussion on national policies and development, prevention of drug menace and rural development.
Yowun Puraya is a brain child of current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He introduced the youth empowerment program in 1984 as the then Minister of Youth Affairs and Employment.
The first Yowun Puraya was held in Polonnaruwa in 1984. Consequently the program was extended to Kuliyapitiya (1985), Matale (1986), Anuradhapura (1987), Bandarawela (1988), and Girandurukotte (1989). The program was stopped in 1989 and recommenced under the guidance of the Premier in 2016 at Sigiriya.
The 2016 Yowun Puraya was held in Sigiriya with the presence of 5,000 youths. The event was conducted in Trincomalee in 2017 and in Nikaweratiya in 2018. The 10th Yowun Puraya is to be unfolded in Hambantota tomorrow.
The program will bring together over 8300 Sri Lankan youth representing all the 25 districts of the island and 100 International youths comprising the 26th ‘Worldwide’ team.
During the camp participants will take part in various sporting and outward bound activities, community work in the local area, sightseeing to local places of interest and various other activities. There will be cultural performances and entertainment shows in the evening and other events to watch during the day.