11 July 2010Economic DevelopmentTwenty young Africans will get the chance of a lifetime to watch the final match of the soccer World Cup in South Africa today, thanks to a United Nations-backed scheme seeking to raise awareness of how young people can help to combat urban poverty. The young people – from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa – will join Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), at the game between Spain and the Netherlands. Under an initiative entitled “Youth for a Safer Africa,” the youth will be sponsored by the UN agency and its partners, including non-governmental organization Right to Play and soft drink giant Coca-Cola. The scheme aims to inspire African youth and enhance their participation in sports. UN-HABITAT and its partners believe that youth are an untapped resource in many developing countries where they face obstacles preventing from being productive in society. Involvement in sports has been proven to improve the livelihoods of young people, giving them increased focus and direction and a sense of working together. Sports – a driver of development – also strengthen teamwork and distracts youth from destructive activities. While in South Africa, the youth will attend workshops on the promotion of sport for peace and development and take part in the opening of a sports centre.
“Modern day threats are also complex. Production of a biological weapon at a small laboratory could be done faster than making a weapon. We got to think big and be prepared for any eventuality through our own tailor-made initiatives. We can have our own preventive and deterrent solutions without going only by theoretical aspects alone. Therefore, education is the most important experience that an officer could get,” he said at a seminar on approaches to countering terrorism in modern environments.The seminar was designed to broaden the horizons of military knowledge in terrorism and its impacts among top level and middle grade officers of the army, navy, air force and the police. (Colombo Gazette) He warned that the army needs to be alert to the sensitivities connected to the possible re-assembling or resurgence of LTTE supporters and overseas activists who would still be promoting the ideological perception of the rebels while working against Sri Lanka’s economic and development aspirations. The military has been told to be on alert to the activities of LTTE supporters, the army media unit said.Major General Milinda Peiris, Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka army briefed the military on emerging terrorist trends at global level and the need for modernized approaches with novel counter-measures. “We need to be knowledgeable to face any future challenges considering transnational effects of terrorism. We are living in fast changing environments which are highly complex. Unlike those days, an arrest of a suspect too would end up as a violation of fundamental rights and you would have to end up in courts,” the army media unit quoted Major General Milinda Peiris as telling the military and the police.