She was speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today (10).
"University students is a group who has been neglected in the recent past. However, they are the group among the young generation who will take over the future of the country after obtaining the highest standards of education," she said.
"Instead of viewing them as a group unemployed and engaging in protests, we view them as agents of positive change," she added.
"Therefore, they should not be given just education and knowledge at universities but also a deep understanding of the society... About the main issues prevailing in Sri Lankan society," she further said.
The media briefing was held on the project "National Unity and Reconciliation through Higher Education” initiated to address reconciliation.
It is a collaboration between University Grants Commission and Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR).
This will be conducted in following Universities and Higher Educational Institutes in Sri Lanka : University of Ruhuna, University of Jaffna, South Eastern University, Visual and Performing Arts University, Swami Vipulananda institute of Eastern University, Sri Lanka Bikshu University and the Jamiah Naleemiah institute.
The foremost objective of launching this programme in universities is to initiate a dialogue among the University students belong to different religious communities, leading to social cohesion and peaceful co-existence in the multi-religious and multi-ethnic society in Sri Lanka.
The former President spoke on the project further as follows :