14 August, 2022


Sri Lankan Youth; Where About?

By Waruni Madhubhashini –

Waruni Madhubhashini

Give The Youth A Proper Environment. Motivate Them. Extend Them The Support They Need. Each One Of Them Has Infinite Source Of Energy. They Will Deliver.” – Dhirubhai Ambani

Every nation has strong assets when developing their national interest, power capability, strategic security concerns with creating territorial integrity and sovereignty. If these intellectual properties are being creating and expanding the conceptual functions of national development; it would take the opportunity to address the consequences of distinctive policies that jeopardized national security. Consisting vital perspectives of knowledge with creating some competitive advantages the youth generation of the country will take the challenge when developing and empowering the nation as voyages who looking new destination for the landing. Youth have positive influences on the nation, innovative knowledge with different perspectives and a combination of creative and advanced technological skills. Though they are more strategically confident as a development tool in society most of them are distraction due to the absence of government participation in empowering youth; especially in Sri Lanka.

Figure 1 Unemployment rate by age group and gender- Second quarter 2019

Even the youth is more powerful and advanced assets that can effectively influence the national development there are should be a strategically organized approach to convince them according to the development function of the state. Youth would be strength concerning modernized concepts according to the sustainable development goals and objectives. As a developing country within the 21st century; Sri Lanka having issues with less participation of youth in national development. Less participation or more participation would depend on the availability and opportunities given by the society to youth generation. It has controversial effects and especially in Sri Lanka; the government should more focus on youth delegation and sustainability.

Figure 2 Unemployment rate by level of education and gender – Second quarter 2019

According to the quarterly bulletin, Sri Lanka Labor Force statics which carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics has reported that Sri Lankan unemployment rate has inched up to 4.9 percent during the second quarter, from 4.7 of first quarter which ended in March 2019. The survey results have revealed that 420,231 number of amount has estimated as an unemployed person and it has reported for female is 7.5 percent and 3.4 percent for male. The youth unemployment rate has highly increased between 15-24 age categories which creating the highest rate from all age female categories. Furthermore, it has revealed that the educated female rates are higher according to the all level of education that has completed their GCE A/L and above education.

According to the statistics, which revealed the deep relationship with the education level and unemployment of the youth generation would be the point that should have to address by the government and all the respective and responsible groups who are developing the nation consisting of sustainable development goals. Not only that it has particularly revealed that among the unemployment rate of each age and educational level categories; females are representing huge proportion and ultimately it would create massive social consequences as the advantage of the unemployment and youth contribution towards the development of the nation.

Table 1 Number of Unemployed and Unemployment rate by level of education – Second quarter 2019

Youth unemployment has different perspectives to be discussed by the society. Even though it should be taken towards the upward to the policy formulation and implementation to the development process of the youth soft and hard skills; Sri Lanka is a country who do not have proper motivation and still we are lacking of creating more opportunities to the youth generation in advance of developed technological functions. According to my point, this is a serious issue in which every political party should focus on formulating their policy formulation towards development goals.

As a result of youth unemployment, lots of corruption and crimes could happen which creating particular issues with the national security, development and peace consolidation in Sri Lanka. The data analysed by the department of prisons has revealed that the convicted prisoners who belonged to the youth generation among 22 – 50 age categories represent the highest amount of prisoners who has characterized between 2013-2017. Even though the youth has played a key role in the development process; when they do not have opportunities to grow up their skills within the society they might be converted towards illegal or different violations. As described by the given data could be understood that unemployment and crime involvement has akin relationship especially in the youth generation.

Table 2 Direct admission of convicted prisoners according to age groups, 2013-2017

Not only that but also Sri Lanka is experiencing huge differentiation of soft skilled labor compared to the international standards of the job market. Moreover, the Sri Lankan education system should be more advanced and adaptable to current labor requirement. In this case, Sri Lanka should address the issue of lacking digitalized knowledge of youth generation. Especially as a developing country in the third world, we do not obtain sufficient technological implementation and policies towards developing the nation. Hence, we have to experience a deep negative correlation among the youth’s contribution towards the economic, political and social development which emphasizing territorial integrity and national security. Thus, Sri Lanka should have to more focus on vocational training centers, private education institutes according to the standard level and there should be changes in attitudes of youth as well as government proceedings.

*The writer is a Research Assistant of the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL), National Security Think Tank under the Ministry of Defence. The opinion expressed in this article are her own and not necessarily reflective of the INSSSL.

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Latest comments

  • 2

    The only option is get a decent education and get the hell of the shit hole. Else government should start their ” boot camps” called youth rehabs.(North Korean Model) I dont see any international investments coming in. Chinese bring their own t youth to work in projects. Rest are mostly donors and charity funds. Govt may promise millions of jobs but their is no jobs for the qualified. We know how effective our state owned projects are. In short our Land,resources and demand is limited but supply is endless. Without fluency in English going abroad is near impossible. Also most countries including Gulf have tightened their wallets. But the youth dosent seems to be concerned as much as this writer. They must be counting on the promises given by our politicians. There was light at the end of tunnel, but the tunnel never ends in Sorry Lanka.

    • 4

      Listen man, I understand what you say and there is truth to it but, why do you go extra and call it Sorry Lanka? blame the politicians and the people all you want but, you don’t have to make fun of the name.

      • 1

        Fact it that the educated youth are lost in Cyber Space,! The internet and Facebook are sadly making the majority ofYouth stupid when it could make them smart!

        We cannot blame the Youth because all opportunities are blocked the by RULE OF CORRUPT GERIATRICS POLITICIANS and their business cronies with the advice of USAID “experts” like Prasad Kariyawasam in the Parliament of this Miracle of Modayas.

        Face book and social media are the great gift (like a drug epidemic or former Opium Wars against China) from the West to the Rest – as the west wanted to colonize the “rest” by making the ‘brown’ natives and particularly the brown Sahib a stupid cyber junkie or drug addict;
        Colonization is easier when the natives are either drugged and passified in cyber-space or de-stabilized — as happened at Easter Sunday when attacks were staged by locals following advice of foreign hands in order to set up Lily pad bases for a rogue state that is also promoting MCC and SOFA in Sri Lanka.

        • 3

          Waruni Madhubhashini,

          Just to give you an example; Go to Freelancer.com or anything similar remote working sites, post a project. See how many young Indians, and youngsters from other countries bid for the project and their skills. Out of 1000, you might find a Sri Lankan, and even if you offer the project, most of the time, they don’t complete it. On the other hand, if you go to Youtube and browser we have too many Sri Lankans posting videos in Sinhala with hate-speech and other pure useless stuff and they are earning from YT for views.

          It is not that they are racists, they are looking for easy money, and they know what sells.

    • 3


      “The only option is get a decent education and get the hell of the shit hole. Else government should start their ” boot camps” called youth rehabs.(North Korean Model)”

      I suggest Gota appoints the single handed Major General Kamal Gunaratne as the boot camp’s Director of Administration in addition to what else he has been doing since 18 November 2019, or maybe the other single handed Major General Shavendra Silva.

    • 0

      Your point is valid but, the main lies somewhere else: SL youths are lost in the job market b’cos, since their childhood, they have been trained to think of going to a university & look for Gvt jobs while the need of the nation is more and more successful investors & inventors.

    • 2

      We sympathize with your agony and frustration. Don’t just be a complainer since there are lot of opportunities in Sri Lanka (and elsewhere). Some people in Sri Lanka too are just complainers, but when a job is given they cannot do it. They are the ones who destroy the society, country, and finally themselves too. Zombies walk and work better than them.
      Forget the politicians and their behavior. You need to wake up and try again since there is no other option left.
      Look at how people made a decision at the last presidential election; they were fed up with traditional politicians and elected a man with US experience. They didn’t care about his citizenship and related criticisms leveled at him.
      His first few decisions seem to be extremely good for the country: no framed pictures of politicians in government offices; cabinet is limited to 15 persons; no new duty free vehicles for any ministers and government officers; security details curtailed and minimized.
      Then the people like you and the so-called IC are concerned; look at what the Swiss government is doing with an alleged abduction story! I read the entire saga and it seems like a fabricated story and now becoming a boomerang for the Swiss ambassador and his embassy. What an embarrassment for a lovely country! I really appreciate it if, CT as reputed Website, could investigate the matter and publish the true story!

  • 1

    Dear Native,
    Pity the poor UNP Kid from Keselwatta got done in the South.
    He is the only UNP Leader who offered so many freebees to our great Asset , the youth segment which this young writer seems to be so passionate about.

    What a comprehensive program the Kid put together for the last Election.
    Starting with free issue Menstrual Pads to sisters to avoid them using their sick leave every month, and disrupt the productivity of the UNP private enterprises ,to building AI School and opening AI Parks even in Akuressa and harness the Digital Talents of our youth.to be ace operatives in the 201st Century in Asia.

    With the UNP leadership is now in total disarray , I don’t think the Octogenarian UNP Speaker Uncle Karu will have the time to spend with the Think Tanks to pt together anything better than KK offered last time.
    So there is still good hope that the UNP will offer the same package to grab our Youth Vote with or without Keselwatta Kid at the helm.

    The traditional Youth protectors who tried to take them to Cuba , not once but twice , the JVP has now forgotten them all together.
    The JVP Trokia of Handunnetta , Tilvin Silva and the Prince are now swearing to finish off President Nandsena because the JVP loves the Democracy more than the Youth in Lankawe..

    Your mate, Navin Nyakka has started dissing the Kid like a pickpocket.
    I don’t know whether his FIL getting Dr Ranil’s Gig has got something to do with it.
    Anyway even if the FIL makes Nayakka the new Young Leader of the UNP of the 21st Century . Nayakka wouldn’t have the time to gather a Think Tank to do Digital work to present at the next Election.

    If Nyakka ends up as the legitimate UNP Leader , wonder what will happen to Keselwatta Kid.
    Will the KID make his own UNP ?.
    Interesting times, Can’t wait for Nandasena to announce the Election..

  • 1

    Youth are rebellious and dumb. Most of them learn only when they get old saying they made mistakes. The govt and the top level govt officials must understand that once Culture is ruined (drugs, liquor pre marital sex, all those NO, NO things), they have ruined their lives. SO, youth have to be very cautious. Some times, I here in SLBC how Youth who ruined their lives because of Drugs talk about them selves. The western life is SEX< drugs, Liquor. that life is short lived and ends with sadness, regrets and all the perilous things.
    It is proven that youth growing up without their culture or foreign ot in strange cultures ruin their lives. That affects countries growth and every thing else too.

  • 1

    Very interesting reading.
    These are the real issues we are facing today.
    Should have given the “Top Story” status at least for a day.
    Our kids who are going to government schools are wasting 6 months after OL to start AL. And after AL they are wasting almost 2 years to enter university.
    That is two and half years from most productive age.

  • 1

    Jayasuriya, trust me Bro it hurts me too. But seeing the desperation and emptiness on the faces of our youth ,restrains me from saying anything worse. First of all our country should NOT be in such hopeless/helpless/worthless situation. The people do not deserve this . My father in 1950 and 60 went abroad from Uni to complete post graduation and returned. My mom was the first woman to leave her village and get her higher graduation abroad supported by the agriculturist father. That was Lanka then. These are the reasons today I am left with many options, to decide my future. But how many of our youth today are fortunate to have any options ?????

  • 1

    An in-depth analysis on the plight of the youths in Sri Lanka which is the need of the hour. Minister of Higher Education & Vocational Studies should take positive steps to address this grave situation. Most worrying factors is that considerable number of youths ended up in the prison for wrong doings and no one knows the number those who are not got caught. What we observe here is that school education doesn’t seemed to walk in line with or integrated with institutions conducting tertiary education. This will prevent students getting misguided to commit wrong doings. Technical colleges and vocational institutions should walk hand in hand with secondary schools.

  • 1

    The Government should start small technical colleges across the country instead of universities producing hundreds of unemployable Arts graduates. These colleges should teach motor engineering, welding, plumbing, carpentry, masonry, sewing, embroidery etc. Everyone needs a skill to sell to the world. Young people will flock to them.

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