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More opportunities for citizens to engage the Government

14 February 2019 - 137   - 0

More opportunities are required for citizens to participate in government activities at the grassroots level, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the launch of ‘Citra’- The Social Innovation Lab co-developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research and the United Nations Development Programme and held at the Galle Face Hotel on Wednesday.

The name ‘Citra’ bears the Sanskrit meaning of something ‘strange, wonderful and curious’ which reflects the nature of work that the Social Innovation Lab does. 

The PM said that he first took part in the first deliberations of the Lab a year ago and has now come to find the results. “Within a year you have started off well,” he said adding that the Lab is partnering with many ministries, including the Youth Ministry and the Public Management Ministry to find common grounds for social innovation.  

He said that more than anything what matters is the people involved in social innovation, the young people who are involved who wants to change the society and to find out what they are doing now and at the ‘end of the day’ listen to their views. 

The government is to set up a structure to create such an atmosphere, to restore and re-establish the frame work and government infrastructure of the country which is needed to build the capacity to repay debt.

For the development work of the country, he said that there should be at least 300,000 basic computer staff if the country is going ahead and for that they needed few more billions of dollars.

He said that in the early 80s there was so much work brought into the divisions of the country and the Biyagama Divisional Secretariat which was one of the backward electorates in the Gampaha district has now become one of the most industrialised areas.  

More and more work were coming into the divisional secretariats now, the Prime Minister pointed out and said that there is a need to find out whether these models are overloaded and outdated and thus to find out how they could be digitalised and how the people in the villages should be consulted.

The Social Innovation Lab now proving to be a success. As Sri Lanka moves forward in the fast changing world the complexity of the challenges is also growing and the successes and failures in addressing these challenges are not dependent on resources but how good the strategies to overcome them are. (QP)

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