The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation that functions under the office of the president conducted a one day conference for District Reconciliation Committees (DRCs) consisting of religious clergy, government officials, police and civil society members, appointed by the president in his capacity as Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation.
NPC Executive Director Dr Jehan Perera was invited to be a panelist n a session on Civil Society and Reparations at the International Conference on Reparations organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on February 22 to 23. The UN Migration Agency is currently providing technical assistance to the government on reparations, one of the four pillars of the national reconciliation framework, which Sri Lanka has committed to, as part of its broader efforts in promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.
In time for the local government elections, Nuwara Eliya District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) launched a campaign in Hatton to promote an election free of racism and religious discrimination. The campaign was funded by the IMPACT/CAFOD project.
Thirty seven members from 16 District Inter Religious Committees (DIRCs) participated in an exchange visit to Vavuniya and Jaffna. The members shared the social, economic and cultural situation in their respective districts and identified many issues of concern.
The youth group formed under NPC’s Religions to Reconcile project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented with a Jordan-based partner organization Generations For Peace (GFP), organized a campaign to clean up the Puttalam hospital and the surrounding premises to address the dengue epidemic that has become a life threatening issue in the district.
Under the FOKUS programme UNSCR 1325 - Women Building Peace in Sri Lanka, 13 war affected people from Trincomalee and Puttalam came to Colombo to submit many unresolved concerns to the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms.
With the local government elections to be held shortly, Kandy and Kurunegala District Inter Religious Committees (DIRCs) launched campaigns to canvass for clean elections free of racism, violence and corruption. Voters were urged to select representatives who opposed racism and discrimination while supporting reconciliation and coexistence.
NPC recently launched a project titled “Collective Engagement for Religious Freedom (CERF)” to ensure religious freedom of all citizens by strengthening Rule of Law and pluralistic values. The project aims to establish Local Inter Religious Committees (LIRC) in eight identified conflict prone Divisional Secretary Divisions: Akurana, Addalaichchenei, Beruwala, Mannar, Mahiyanganaya, Negombo, Vauniya and Weligama.