Wednesday, 10 February 2016 17:05

NPC Establishes DIRC in Hambantota, Explains TJ Mechanisms

Under its project Initiating Multi-level Partnership Action for Conflict Transformation (IMPACT) supported by Misereor, NPC established a new District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) in the Hambantota District.

Two new DIRCS have already been formed under the project in the Anuradhapura and Badulla districts. NPC has set up nine DIRCS over the past four years.

Through the three year IMPACT project, NPC will establish seven new DIRCs in total and create awareness within communities throughout the country of the requirements to progress from post-war to post-conflict development by explaining the principles of Transitional Justice (TJ).

There is a gap between what is happening at the decision making levels of society and at the community level. The government has been responsive to concerns expressed by civil society about the absence of participation in the transitional justice processes. It has appointed an eleven-member Consultation Task Force that is working with the help of Pablo de Greiff, Special UN Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence.

The framework for the consultation process, already formulated, will have two phases - a web-based process in all languages and a face-to-face consultation process that will focus on specific stakeholders including children, military, disabled combatants, widows and ex-child combatants. The government has planned to mobilise civil society groups to undertake wide ranging consultations with multiple sectors of society to modify and supplement the mechanisms it has proposed.

At the meeting in Hambantota, organised with its partner Samadhi Foundation,there were31 participants, including Buddhist monks, Christian priests, Moulavis and a Kurukkal.

NPC Executive Director Jehan Perera explained the components of TJ and how NPC will contribute as a civil society organisation towards the peace process by educating people on peace and reconciliation related subjects and lobbying for their views at a national level.

Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana shared his views on importance of educating people so that they could make decisions with the correct knowledge and information.