Blog Archives

YATV takes to the air


Hilmy Ahamed, CEO of YATV speaks about the new venture at the event held to celebrate YATV hitting the airwaves, or rather, cabled and the internet.

Young Asia Television, or YATV launched it new venture YA Sri Lanka last week with a view to provide interactive programming on a wide range of programming from Entertainment to Education and Business.

YATV has been in the forefront of value-based programming in the Asian region and has been a pioneer in changing the look and feel of the television screen, the television experience, in Sri Lanka and many other countries in the region. YATV introduced younger programme producers, a wider range of perspectives, new programme formats and used innovative computer graphics and animation, adopting cost-effective production processes through affordable technology. YATV’s programming provided the space for a diverse group of people – and not just young people – to express their views.

YATV relies strongly on its youthful human resources who are equal to any in the global Television industry. Their out-put has been of superior technical and content quality.

With the launch of YA Sri Lanka, YATV takes another significant step in the progress of television in the Sri Lanka by partnering with SLT’s PEOTV to bring interactive television programming for education information and development.

In addition to catering to urban youth audiences, YA Sri Lanka is committed to reaching out to the audiences in rural areas.

YA Sri Lanka hopes to entertain, but more importantly, facilitate wide-ranging discourse among people -exchanging information, bringing awareness, enabling understanding.

The value of media, especially television, as a tool for learning has been proven time and again. Its capacity to inform, educate and encourage behavior change has made it an indispensable tool of most social campaigns. With respect to youth audiences, research has shown that TV has the ability to create powerful touchstones, enabling young people to share experiences with others. So it seems a logical step for YA SRI LANKA to harness the potential of this powerful and influential medium.

YA Sri Lanka’s partnership with PEOTV will be an opportunity to provide an alternative to the mainstream, An opportunity to reinvent the usefulness of the medium of television. An opportunity to share ideas and knowledge, gain skills and capacities, build communities and bridges.

Editor’s Note: YATV has been a one of the strong pillars that has helped Beyond Borders grow, and we pride ourselves in the long and warm relationship that we share, running beyond a mere a work relationship into sphere of friendships. Beyond Borders extends our hearfelt congratulations to YATV, and wishes them the best for the future. And we would obviously look forward to YATV, and now YA Sri Lanka helping us more.

To see a the instances in which Beyond Borders, or BBites were on YATV, click here. You can see the YATV YouTube channel here, and YATV can be found here on their official website.


Here’s to the Crazy ones..

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo.

You can quote them.
Disagree with them.
Glorify, or vilify them.
But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

From a well known advert by Apple for a little morning inspiration. Here’s the video.

A Meeting of Youth Organizations and Activists

Beyond Borders and the Sri Lanka Youth Parliament is organizing a meeting of  youth organizations/activists to be held on Sunday, the 8th of March from 2.30 – 4.30 pm.

The purpose of the meeting is as follows: 

  1. To meet and share experiences with the Nepali and Maldivian youth delegations who will be here in Colombo to attend a Regional Conference on ‘Youth as Partners for Sustainable Development and Socio-Political Stability’ jointly organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and International Alert. 
  2. To brainstorm issues that youth organisations face in Sri Lanka with regard to lack of resources, programme support, recognition etc – in short the state of organised youth activism in the country – is there any structure or programme that we need to create to support youth led organisations in the country?

Bimsara Premaratne formerly a Board member of the National Youth Organisations Network will facilitate the second part of the agenda above mentioned.

SLYP and BB are hoping that this will be the first of a series of meetings where we can explore this subject. Subsequently future meetings, we hope, will involve youth organisations from different parts of the country.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Youth, and the two visiting secretaries from Nepal and Maldives have also been invited to the meeting.

Representatives from International Alert will also be present. 

Attendance for this meeting is by invitation only.

If you or your organization would like to participate in the meeting, drop us an email to info[at] with your name, contact details, organization you represent (if any) and explaining very briefly, why you’d like to attend this meeting.

2008 in Retrospect

The past year was the most challenging, the most rewarding and the most fun we had at Beyond Borders. A key milestone for us, was registering ourselves as an organization. This meant we were legal, to be sued. We had a small pow wow of the Beyond Borders family to celebrate.

We had a couple of good theatre experiences as well. The hit was Censored. YATV did some videos of it, and we got quite a bit of media coverage for it. Forum theatre remains a key area on which we’re focusing on. It’s part of catalysing a thought process at different levels.  We also took some of our older productions,  out of Colombo.

We’re doing the study circle as well. We get young people, and people who are young at heart to talk about the ethnic issue, and then compile a youth reader on the conflict. As part of it, we’ve created, and now are supporting a blog, InMutiny. Go have a look-see, and if you feel like it, contribute. We’d like that very much. Plus we played some footy. Well, not really us, but we got some kids to come over and play some footy for the International Day of Peace.

We also plan to document some of these responses and compile a report. The feedback from the study circle, will be included in this as well as from some  input from reigional youth forums we plan to hold. 

On the leadership front, we’ve had a change. New management has taken over since last weekend, and we’re yet to see how he functions. Failed exams and rejected submissions would be good criteria for judging how much time and effort he is putting into the job. 

On the sex front, and on citizenship education, we’re compiling a toolkit. Something others would be able to use as well, when one wants to do a quick couple of sessions on a selected set of topics. As for now,  we have the support from Oxfam Australia for the project. More on that later, when we finish the thing off.

We also started project with CHA, helping kids in the juvinile justice system learn citizenship education and lifeskills. As of now, we are training a bunch of volunteers who can do this with us.

We’ve been doing a bit of talking as usual. Almost on a monthly basis. Our monthly discussions varied from the ethnic conflict, to religion, with a bit of global warming thrown in for added taste. Unreel, the documentary unconference that we hosted, attracted a lot of participants, and a lot of documentaries as well. TED Talks played a major role in the videos were put up, as with mainstream documents like For the Bible Tells Me So.

We’re being talked about too, due to strategically placed media connections. The mainstream media knows us, and so do a lot of people. We’ve hired (of sorts) a lot of new faces into the group, and we’re growing.

We’ve got an office, thanks to Infoshare and a Camcorder thanks to us. When we say thanks to us, what we mean is thanks to the  support FLICT has given us. But none of this would have been possible without the assistance given by British Council along the way, all the way. The camera would mean that our YouTube channel would have more content. The office space would mean we would have a place to plan our world domination.

Beyond Borders is a completly voluntary, youth-run organization. If you like our work,  maybe you’d like to get involved.  

Censored on TV

Censored is now on YaTV’s No War Zone. Catch it randomly on ETV and TNL. For the moment, it’s available on youtube:

Update: Yatv also has the Tamil/Sinhala version up on youtube.


Founder of the Sri Lanka Youth Parliament and eternal BB-ite talks about youth activism, identity, getting young people to work together, change and a bit of Obama thrown in, on The Interview. The whole thing can be seen here. We would obviously want you to watch it.

Bringing down the sun

That’s the name of the song done by Paranoid Earthling for the World Peace Day 2008. It’s youtubed for your viewing pleasure:

The video comes from the Young Asia Telivision Youtube channel, who is now putting out some quality material up there. BB is also on youtube, if anyone wants to subscribe.

World Youth Day Walk

The World Youth Day Walk was held as part of the World Youth Congress in Quebec, Canada on the 12th of September 2008.  The walk consisting of more than 600 young people from 120 countries started at the University of Laval, which played host for the WYC and ended in a rally at Old, Quebec. The final event had messages read on behalf of the United Nations Secretary General, Governor General of Canada and other dignitaries on behalf of the youth day. What follows are some moments from the walk:

For more scenes from the world youth Congress, see these pictures from Flickr or visit the WYC youtube channel. A video of the World Youth Walk is also on youtube.

The World Youth Congress

The World Youth Congress Delegates

The World Youth Congress Delegates

The 4th World Youth Congress is now underway. Over 500 of the world’s most dynamic young activists and voluteers in the field of youth-led development  from over 100 countries are here for a 12 day summit in Quebec City, Canada.

The congress offers a unique opportunity to meet and work alongside young people who are really doing things and going places. The event is the largest gathering of its kind for young people taking place anywhere in the world in 2008.

There is a strong role at the Congress for young journalists, cultural performers as well as for those with an interest in youth-driven development, but with less personal experience in this area.

After a week of plenaries, workshops and dialogs with world’s leading development organizations and development actors, delegates will join forces with young Canadians to undertake hands-on community action projects across Québec, and will help shape international policy by documenting and showing governments what young people are doing to achieve the MDGs.

Sri Lanka is represented at the World Youth congress by Beyond Borders, Sri Lanka Youth Parliament and WUSC.

You can catch all the action at the Congress live via streaming videos, pictures and blogs via the Virtual Congress intiative launched with the support of TakingITGlobal. See it as it happens.

A Journey Beyond Borders

The official publication of Beyond Borders India is out now. From the inside cover:

Beyond Borders India are young change makers who have resolved to challenge the existing restrictive order. As the decision-makers of tomorrow we should not only be aware of our own responsibilities but should remind others about their duty as well.

As intolerance spreads like a global epidemic, it becomes mandatory for us to build awareness about varied world cultures and their inherent similarities. It is our belief that it is only by appreciating individual and regional identities that world peace can be ensured.

Humanity is the only tool through which we can stem the growing tide of hatred. Thus, it is necessary for us to transcend barriers and work for the upliftment of the marginalised groups. It is up to us to take up the cause of the homeless, hungry, disabled, rural and urban poor and many other such ‘invisible, unheard and unseen’ sections. In short, we want to work towards Human Rights issues to augment positive social change.

In this mission we aim to work in tandem with like-minded youth from all parts of the world. As young people coming from varied walks of life and having diverse local identities, we need to unite our efforts because our futures are connected as well.

The publication contains a report of activities and thoughts from BB-ites which make up Beyond Borders India. The publication can be downloaded as a PDF here.

Beyond Borders in Sri Lanka (Colombo) , India (New Delhi and Mumbai) and Bangladesh (Dhaka) functions as youth-led voluntary organizations working on development issues affecting young people. If you’d like to get involved, drop us an email to slbeyondborders[at]

For More on BB India see the documentaries footprints (part 1 , 2) and Conversations all available on our Youtube channel.