The Sunday Leader

Corporate Leaders Inspire Unity, Reconciliation In Sri Lanka

The Unity Mission Trust is a Non Profit Trust that has been working towards developing unity amongst the youths of Sri Lanka since May 2009. They have been working towards their goal by fostering strong bonds between the youths from the different regions regardless of ethnicity and religious differences.

Over the years the trust has carried out over 50 grassroots initiatives which promoted unity, integration, healing and reconciliation between the different regions of Sri Lanka. Their core message and values are now being practiced by over 8000 youth’s in over 17 regions of Sri Lanka. The organization held its 2nd Annual National Level Regional Youth Leaders Conference at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute auditorium and the residential site in Athurugiriya from January 27 to 29. The highlights of the conference included 100 selected Youth from 17 regions gathering together to map out grass root community service initiatives and inter regional programs for 2017.  The key speakers at the conference were a group of corporate and civil leaders who spoke on the theme of ‘Building Lives, Fostering Unity and Strengthening Sri Lanka’. The speakers included Prof. Dinusha Panditharatne – CEO of Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute; Dilith Jayaweera – Jt. Managing Director of Derana Media & Triad Group of Companies; S. Renganathan – COO of Commercial Bank; Asoka Peiris – Group CEO of Singer SL; Arjun Fernando – CEO of DFCC Bank; Suren Fernando – CEO of MAS Intimates and Ms. Lakmini Wijesundara – CEO of Iron One Technologies.  A few Unity Mission Trust Regional Youth Leaders from Colombo, Vavuniya, Mullativu, Elpitiya and Matara also spoke at the conference. The Conference was conducted by Unity Mission Trust youth leaders  and the areas covered included leadership training and exposure to vibrant Unity Mission Trust youth leaders, how to conduct an important conference, how to present papers and how to conduct plenary  discussions on  themes that are very relevant to Sri Lanka’s future!

The Conference was chaired by Sasha Pinto-Jayawardena and assisted by Nimesha Jayamanne from Colombo with all multi-lingual translations being done by the regional Leader of Kandy.  Commenting on the Conference, Chairman of the Trust Maj. Gen (Rtd) Lohan Goonewardena stated: “Not only are topical grassroots matters discussed, these Youth are exposed to the thinking and guidance of highly respected Corporate Leaders”.

Founder Trustee and -coordinator of Unity Mission Trust Bertal Pinto-Jayawardena elaborated further and stated, “The work of the Trust has been evolving over the Years and we are now building up Youth Leaders with a long term vision of what these outstanding Young Leaders will achieve and contribute to Sri Lanka in 15 to 20 years from today. The values we impart and the guidance they receive from Top Drawer Role Models will make a major impact on the shaping of their destinies”.  Trustees Rukshan Perera and Co-Founder Trustee Mrs. Shyamala Pinto-Jayawardena were also attendees at the Conference.

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