There are many devoted, trustworthy institution and people within Srilanka and outside the country who are working for “The Country moving forward together” , but these events are not appreciated or published in the media. As a Srilankan I wished to express my sincere thanks to the two organizations that have initiated on Peace and Reconciliation during the past few months.
The Global Reconciliation of Australia, headed by Professor Paul Komesaroff , Professor of Medicine, Monash University. Australia, and The Diaspora Lanka in Australia headed by Mr Jeremy Liyanage , Mannar Urban Development MM 2022 .
Recently on 24th to 26th of August, “ The Global Reconciliation “ held a meaningful workshop at Hotel Renuka , Colombo, where eminent and distinguished people from Govt, NGO, Academic Institutions, Professional Associations, Community based Groups, Various district Civil Societie and Religious Dignitaries participated. The workshop was supported by the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies, which has assisted the Australian initiators.
The major areas of discussions were, the existing civil societies are the most effective sites for the building of trust and collaborative partnerships. The importance of trust building ,local capacity and documentation and critical review of all its projects to ensure that both successes and failures. The strong bonds uniting Sri Lankan people and the common commitment to a united prosperous and just society.
The purpose of the workshop was to examine examples of ways in which people are actively working, in areas such as health care, sport, the arts, education, environmental protection, interfaith dialogue, justice & ethics, confidence and security and business, in order to build community bonds, confidence and security, with a view to extending and further developing this process . The project is non-political and non-aligned and seeks to identify and build on shared needs and goals rather than to dwell on past divisions and differences
Some of the eminent speakers were Professor Christy Weeramantry, UNESCO Peace Educationist, Dr.Javid Yusuf, Ex Srilankan Ambassador ,Dr.Sivathas Subramaniam, Northern Psychologist, Ms Kanchana Weerakoon ,Environmentist , Ms Vinu Mendis, Director Candle aid, Mr.Paul Komesaroff ,Professor of Medicine, Australiya,
Prof Suresh Sundram and Prof Paul James from Australian University . Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Presidental Advisor for Nutrition. Dr.Vinya Ariyaratna, Director Sarvodaya, Ven .Batapola Nanda Thero , Chief Priest from Ambalangoda Temple. Also Number of participants from different perspectives presented their visions of a future, united, prosperous and just Sri Lanka.
They emphasise that reconciliation is an ongoing process that can serve many different purpose, it can contribute to consolidating peace & harmony , breaking a cycle of violence, restoring justice at both personal and social levels, bring personal healing and reparation for the past injustices caused between individuals and communities.
At the end of the workshop following matters had been brought by the house for final draft.
In order to engaging with communities and reviving civil Society for a change . Remember the past without staying in the past , “A common day of mourning” for all Srilankans, who could practice it according to their religious rights & culture.
Healing the pains of war both physical and emotional, especially for those who were killed, abducted, missing, tortured, disabled, displaced, resettled, traumatized, also widows, and orphans, etc.
Restoring the experience of justice , by freedom of expression about their past injustice without dwelling in the past, conduct local dialogues on LLRC recommendation and air the people view to Politicians and Rulers . Implementation of LLRC recommendations as soon as possible.
Engaging with Government without waiting for the government as the source of change, by strengthening the present civil societies, religious groups who work for peace & reconciliation. Create an atmosphere where deep democracy be engendered that goes beyond voting for politicians.
Providing resources for living, maximum use of resources to delivered to local communities in need. Equal distribution of resources to all Srilankans without any bias, emphasis free & meaningful job oriented education to all without any barriers and cut outs marks.
Providing resources for dissemination and cross- communication, allow media freedom with genuine restriction on country security. Publish positive case studies, conduct inter dialogue, exchange visits, free communication between communities of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. All Govt , NGO and Politicians adopt “Do no harm’ concept.,
Developing education for a change, in cooperate Peace & Reconciliation in the students curriculum, Think of Mixed schools for Sinhalese, Tamils & Muslims, same as Universities , Technical college and Teachers training institution.in our country. Think of mixed schools for gender into the centre of education.
People are the strength of the country as such strengthen the available, premetive Village civil societies, (example coated as Veda community) reinvigorate fractured civil societies. Give a solid hope to the broken communities or who have lost their communities be given hope. Maintain a united future while continuing to recognize and respect deep individual cultural differences .
Similarly Diaspora Lanka in Australia who work for Relief, Rehabilitation, Reintegration & Reconciliation in Mannmar since last eight months have developed a meaningful project to Mannar Urban council by the people ,to the people and for the people in consultation with the Uurban Development Council
The initiative taken by the team of Diaspora Lanka , headed by Mr Jeremy Liyanage was highly appreciated by the all civil societies in Mannar , the Members of Mannar Urban Council, Religious Leaders and the Local politicians .
Freelance Project Consultant & Trainer,