Young people yearn to have a say. The Sri Lanka Youth Parliament (SLYP) creates a platform that brings together youths from different parts of the island and empowers them through the participation in simulated parliamentary sessions. This allows them to take up the role of decision makers and gives them first-hand experience in the democratic decision-making process. Policy makers and authorities are made well aware of the decisions made at the Sri Lanka Youth Parliament.
The 8th Session of Sri Lanka Youth Parliament was held on the 22nd and 23rd of September at the Sri Lanka Youth Council Premises in Maharagama. The Monitoring MP for Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry Mohan Lal Grero attended the event together with the Chairman of the NYSC Lalith Piyum Perera and its working director Milinda Rajapaksha.
The National Youth Parliament consists of 335 members, of which 332 are elected by registered members of the NYSC Youth Clubs Network. 3 members are appointed by nomination of the Secretary of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development to support underrepresented stakeholders: i.e. one youth parliamentarian to represent indigenous communities, one member to represent people with disabilities and another member for ethnic minorities unrepresented at the SLYP. Any individual within the age group 18-39 can contest the elections for the Youth Parliament.
The SLYP facilitates intercultural encounters while providing a platform for youth to play a leadership role in identifying and addressing the needs of the communities they live in. SLYP was created to build a second generation of proficient leaders and to ensure the constructive involvement of youth in the development agenda of the country. The Sri Lanka youth Parliament Complex is currently being constructed in Kilinochchi, the former administrative centre and de facto capital of the LTTE.