Lankan parliament calls for youth participation in monitoring committees

New Delhi: Sri Lanka’s parliament on Monday invited university graduates to serve on its regional monitoring committees, amid growing calls to meet the aspirations of youth in the crisis-hit island nation.

In a newspaper notice published here on Monday, Parliament asked youths between the ages of 18 and 35 to serve on 17 oversight committees in Parliament.

The report states, “The chairman of a committee may call up to five youth representatives to assist the committees in connection with the investigation of the committee.”

The notices in the newspapers stated that the Parliament had amended its Standing Orders to facilitate the participation of the youth in the affairs of the country.

Since street protests broke out earlier this year amid the country’s ongoing economic crisis, the government has pledged to bring in several reforms to meet the aspirations of the youth.

Youth representation increased in public protests as they fought for “system change”, meaning a wide range of reforms.

The popular protest movement forced the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign in July this year.

His successor Ranil Wickremesinghe made several reforms including the 21st amendment to the constitution.

Since early February, the country has been plunged into a severe economic crisis, leading to shortages of essential goods and ending in a first-ever sovereign default by the government in mid-April.