Parallel to the International day for Eradication of Poverty SUNFO and GCAP Sri Lanka lounged the "Better Aid for the World We Want" Campaign in a public event held at the National Museum Auditorium, Colombo, Sri Lanka on 16 October, 2011 afternoon from 2.30PM onwards.
Youth leader and young singer Mahesh H.Nishshaka delivered the welcome speech by out lining the theme of the day.
GCAP Sri Lanka Coordinator and SUNFO Director General Dr.Deshapriya S. Wijetunge explained the gathering about the Better Aid Campaign for calling governments here civil society voices related to following asks at the 4th High Level meeting on Aid Effectiveness in Bussan in November,2011.
(a) fully evaluate and deepen existing aid effectiveness commitments (Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action)
(b) commit to a human rights based approach to development and development cooperation with gender equality, decent work and environmental sustainability at the centre
(c) Support CSOs as independent development actors in their own right, and commit to an enabling environment for their work in all countries
(d) initiate fundamental reforms for fairer aid governance
Further Dr.Wijetunge explained previous initiatives and mobilizations on White Band Days and Day of Eradication of Poverty in previous years by SUNFO with GCAP Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Youth had a very interesting debate about the "Aid for Development at what Cost ?-Southern Highway Project in Sri Lanka". Two Youth teams each 4 members debated about positive and negative sides in this debate. Mr. Dhanushka Bandara headed the debate. Dr.M.T.Hemapala (GCAP Adviser) , Rev.Magala North Vigayaghana Thero (Chairman-Galle District NGO Federation) , Ms.Chandrika de Zoysa(Women Leader/Vice President SLFP Whole- island Woman's Federation) Mr.Aruna Kumara(President –Lanka Youth Organization Network), Mr.Upali Gunawardena (South Asian Youth Peace Camp Organizing Committee Advisor) were in the Board of Judges. Finally the team who elaborated negative side of the project won the debate.
GCAP Sri Lanka Women's Coordinator and Former GCAP SAFG Board Member Ms.Manel Illapperuma red the UN Secretary Generals message on the Eradication of Poverty Day-2012.
Campaign designs of 5 Post Cards were brought to the stage by 5 Youth Leaders. Ms.Ratna Lanka Pushpakumari (Director-Child Skill Development Programme) spooked about the campaign asking governments to ensure that citizens' voices are heard in development and aid decisions. Further she explained about issues related to poverty and children's of the world.
A drama of children in the theme of "The World We Want" was staged and very much attracted the gathering present on the day.
The Chief Guest Hon. Member of the Parliament, Presidents Council Mr.Wijedasa Rajapaksha spooked about the " Definition of Poverty", The Aids, Corruption and Development issues. He said that 40% of money in Sri Lanka not in the real economy and that operates in the black economy. He explained his past experiences and findings as the Chairman of Committee of Public Establishments (COPE) in the Parliament of Sri Lanka , the level of waste of aids and public resources as well as corruption . Also he mentioned about the long period taken for planning and construction of the Southern Highway over an decade effects the recovery to pay back loans taken for the project.
Ms.Claudia Iddamalgoda (SUNFO Advisor) presented two sinhala language books written and published by her to Guests on that occasion. Among other key personalities presented at the ceremony are Hon. Municipal Council Member of Bandarawela and Chairman Sri Lanka Young Councilors Federation Mr.Janaka Nishantha Ratnayaka , Hon. Member of Ella Pradeshiya Shaba Mr.W.M.S.Anurapriya, Ms.S.A.zain(Treasurer/Trustee) , Jeewanashuri Ms.Ranmalee Gunawardena (Youth Director) . "Swarnawahini" Television station covered the event. Our other invited Chief Guest Hon. Deputy Minister Attorney at Law Mr. Lalith Dissanayke MP was unable to present due to his other official engagements on the day.
South Asian Peace Youth Camp(Dec-2011) Brigades and Global Youth Services Day –April,2012 programme also announced.
Youth Coordinator Mr.Asanka Sumanarathna delivered the vote of thanks. Compeers of the ceremony in three languages (Sinhala, Tamil and English) were Mr.Senel Wanniarachchi (TNL Media), Dr. Lukshanth Christoper and Mr.Dhanushka Bandara.
All can sign the Campaign Post Card through online at www.betteraid.org/campaign