The youth are the future of any nation. But when this very group of talented youngsters are robbed off their future by leaders who are only in governance to fulfill their hidden agendas, what then lies ahead for them?
Ever since the UNP government were elected in 2015, Sri Lanka has fallen into a crisis, especially with a staggering rise in the unemployment levels amongst the youth.
Infact, according to the latest figures released by the Census and Statistics Department, unemployment levels have risen to 4.9 percent in the second quarter of 2019, the highest since 5.1 percent seen in the third quarter of 2015.
The Department said the highest unemployment rate of 9.5 percent was from the G.C.E. Advanced Level and above qualified group while unemployment levels amongst the female was also very high than those of males in all levels of education.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, had, in 2016, assured to create 1 million jobs within a year, under his ‘good governance’ pledge, which he and his government has assured in 2017, 2018 and now 2019.
However, Sri Lanka is far from having 1 million jobs available today. Infact the UNP and its Presidential candidate, Mr Sajith Premadasa have no solution for this crisis which they have created but very blindly keep pledging a ‘new Sri Lanka’ assuming that voters seem to have forgotten that they were in power these past four and a half years.
Sri Lanka, today, is in desperate need of a strong, efficient leader and government for the prosperity of this nation. Infact, for youth to prosper in any country, governments need to create the availability of suitable jobs in all sectors so that youth are not driven away to other countries.
Sri Lanka is obviously lacking that availability. Today, Sri Lanka’s youth population is an estimated 4.5 million, in the age group of 15 to 29, which is about 21 percent of the total population and many are suffering without suitable jobs.
Recently, a study done by Verite Research revealed that Sri Lanka presently faces an enormous labor scarcity in several fast growing industries including tourism, construction and health care.
The research also found that the youth spent an average 21 months searching for employment and approximately 29 percent of constrained youth showed an interest to work.
Sri Lankan youth should be encouraged to use their talent right here at home so that the country in whole can prosper. As times have evolved, youth are no longer searching for jobs only in the public sector, but instead are looking for equal opportunities in the private sector too.
There should be a suitable environment created for them as they are yearning to fall under the category of ‘global youth’ and it is up to the governments to take responsibility and work for a better future for these youngsters.
It does not take much for any candidate to read out their pledges to voo the voters on public stages. Saying is one thing and implementing it is a totally different procedure. Under the government of the UNP, the country has witnessed how Sri Lanka, from a budding hub, changed into a failed state. Corruption, red tape, weak economic policies, infighting, power struggles, plagued us all. Even worse, our national security was also compromised due to which innocent lives were lost and all what the leaders did was pass the buck on to each other.
Our youth needs confidence. They need a strong backing. They need a visionary leader. They need a stable government. They need a people’s president. Candidates are here to talk, but as Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in his inaugural rally in Anuradhapura on Wednesday, that simply having a vision wont do. It is more important to have a plan to implement that vision than simply just talking about it.
On Nov. 16, we citizens, including our youth, will have the opportunity to vote in a new leader. It is time we get rid of this unstable government and leaders who are good at talk, but weak at implementing.