The future of Sri Lanka depends on young people gaining the skills and knowledge that will power the country’s prosperity, U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap said.
He made these comments on Thursday during the launch of the “YouLead!” initiative, a 1.8 billion rupee program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support youth employability, vocational skills development, and entrepreneurship.
The ambassador said that he has been fortunate to travel all around the country and met many people over the course of his tenure. “I’d argue this is one of the happiest moments in the life of this country. That after many decades of tensions and stress, Sri Lankans can look forward to a brighter future.”
He also stated that the potential and human talent of young people in this country is amazing. It’s amazing to behold what young folks in this country can achieve, what their vision is of the future of this country, he said.
“We are so impressed by the vision of the Sri Lankan people, articulated in free and democratic elections in 2015. It has resulted in a new high-water mark of U.S.-Sri Lanka relations,” Keshap said.
He said that it has resulted in, arguably, the best relations the two nations have ever had. “Because your people, your young people, your government, your political leaders, your President, and your Prime Minister are leading this country in a better direction.”
A direction of greater democracy, reconciliation, prosperity, peace, harmony, and hopefully full opportunity for all of those young people, he said.
He stated that this is a vision that the American people truly respect and they truly appreciate, and the US is committed to giving its full support as a government and a people to the achievement of the dreams and visions of the people of Sri Lanka.
“We are fully invested in the success of the Sri Lankan people.”