By Uditha Jayasinghe
Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal on Wednesday night said with peace and talented youth Sri Lanka has what it takes to become a successful nation.
“Outstanding young people together with the dawn of peace have presented Sri Lanka with unprecedented opportunities,” theGovernor said addressing the HSBC Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) 2010 awards ceremony on Wednesday night as Chief Guest.
He was keen to express the opportunities that have opened up in Sri Lanka as a result of peace. He insisted that with the new economic chances that are present in the country it was possible to reverse the brain drain process and advocated active encouragement of youth to return to their homeland.
“Outstanding young people have the chance to make an amazing impact in Sri Lanka today. They can become a beacon to the rest of the world as the country with the defeat of terrorism has become an example to the globe,” he noted adding that with change sweeping across the country and new ventures of growth opening up, it provided the perfect atmosphere for young ambitious people to test out their talents.
Pointing out that the government was getting ready for unprecedented growth and aiming for doubling the per capita income to US$ 4000 in just six years the need for dedicated, innovative and trailblazing youth was impressed. Cabraal told the audience that the challenge was not only to grow but do so in the least possible time. He insisted that the slow growth trajectory witnessed in Sri Lanka since independence now has to change if Sri Lanka is to take full benefit from the end of the war.
Taking the TOYP award winners as examples he emphasised on how they could spearhead more leaders, Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrema who received the award for the Economic Accomplishment category was commended for leading massive infrastructure programmes that have not been attempted in decades to bring prosperity to the country.
The other winners were Dileep Mudadeniya (Public Administration), Arosha Adikaram (Academic Leadership), Ferozeshah Karmardeen (Contribution to arts and culture), Rafi Reyal (Environmental Leadership), Sajith de Mel (Humanitarian and Voluntary Service), Dr. Pasan De Vaas Tilakaratna (Technological Development), Dr. Lasantha Malavige (Medical Research), Mahela Jayawardena (Personal Accomplishment) and Dr. B. Balagobi (Personal Improvement.)