Wednesday, 08 September 2021 17:15

Countering Hate Speech in the Estate Sector

National Peace Council’s Technical Assistance to Justice Institutions in Sri Lanka project conducted a series of campaigns on countering hate speech. The Monaragala district campaign was conducted in three phases: creating a dialogue against hate speech and violence with government officials, youth, differently abled persons and religious leaders; educating people in the plantation sector on countering hate speech and a discussion on the contribution of art and literature to minimise hate speech.

Master trainers visited the estates in Moneragala and explained that hate speech could be defined as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour that attacks or uses discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are. They said that hate speech was not confined to religion or ethnicity and outlined the sociological framework of hate speech and hate speech laws. Booklets on countering hate speech and posters and banners were displayed to create awareness.

For the third phase, a workshop on the contribution of art and literature to minimise hate speech was conducted by Moneragala Additional District Secretary Mr. Chandana Lokuhevage, who spoke about the importance of art and literature in reducing hate speech and about the importance of protecting the environment. Residents of children’s homes, Social Integration Officers, Child Development Officers and Probation Officers participated in the workshop.