Friday, 07 January 2022 15:50

Preventing Violent Extremism at the Grassroots

NPC held six training sessions to capacitate District Inter Religious Committees (DIRCs) and Local Inter Religious Committees (LIRCs) on Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) using resource people and civil society members. A total 201 DIRC and LIRC members participated in the Mannar, Vavuniya, Ampara, Batticaloa, Kandy and Kurunegala Districts under NPC’s project Prevention of Violent Extremism - Capacity Building in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

NPC has worked closely with DIRCs and LIRCs on its activities for advocacy, research, training and dialogue, which are aimed at mobilising people towards peace and conflict transformation. NPC proposed mobilising and capacitating DIRCs and LIRCs on PVE because faith groups had been involved the spreading the concepts of extremism, radicalisation and exclusion, which were the factors identified as leading to violent extremism.

Training sessions were held in Mannar, Vavuniya, Ampara, Batticaloa, Kandy and Kurunegala to evaluate and monitor the increase in the level of knowledge of participants. The project was designed to make use of the trained resources pool as facilitators or lead trainers. The initial idea was to establish a national resources team but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the selection criteria for the pool were amended and five members from each project location were identified and trained by international resources persons.

The trained members were used to capacitate Civil Society Organization (CSO) members. One of the reasons to capacitate CSO members in preventing violent extremism in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was that each country had experience in violent extremism. The project facilitates sharing of knowledge and experience between both countries to prevent violent extremism.