From its inception, Sri Lanka Unites has placed a strong emphasis on its relationship with the international community and the diaspora. Both previous conferences have been internationally represented with distinguished speakers and eager volunteers. SLU's social media strives to reach the Sri Lankan diaspora and give them a fresh perspective of the possibilities that exist for their native land. But why might SLU try to extend its presence abroad beyond the diaspora? Admittedly, SLU’s main goal is national reconciliation among all Sri Lankan ethnicities and religions, but the goal does not end there. For decades past, Sri Lanka has been a well-known example of a land racked by ethnic hatred and violence. The predicament was made all the more tragic since the nation held so much promise immediately after independence. SLU knows that Sri Lanka is capable of much more than its past wars and suffering would suggest and that the time has come to reverse its global image of a war torn, hopeless country.
An international presence contributes to this goal in two crucial ways. First, it lends legitimacy to the national movement for peace and reconciliation. As more foreigners and international organizations become involved in promoting the well being of Sri Lanka’s future, the youth realize that a tangible hope is being actualized around the island and that this dream has the attention of a larger world. The world is willing to support Sri Lanka in its endeavors and give it the chance to truly change into a nation envied for its peace, strength, and diversity.
Second, an international presence within SLU and the Future Leaders Conference proclaims a global message that a transition from hatred to reconciliation is achievable. As the healing in Sri Lanka progresses, we hope that this process can be substituted as an inspirational template for future youth movements across the world. When such causes arise, we want Sri Lanka to be a success story that provides motivation and practical guidelines for a better future. To this end, SLU has invited student delegates from other youth organizations in different nations to become panelists at the third annual FLC. For these reasons, SLU supports an expanded participation in the nation building of Sri Lanka today.
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