Wednesday, 06 July 2022 08:20

Promoting Pluralism at the Grassroots

A series of one day workshops based on pluralism and building a pluralistic society was conducted for members of local government authorities and government officials in the Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Moneragala, Kandy, Kegalle, Kurunegala and Badulla districts under NPC’s project Plural Action for Conflict Transformation (PACT).

The two main issues that NPC deals with in this series of trainings are to impress upon the participants the importance of power sharing between the ethnic and religious communities through the devolution of power and inclusive decision making and addressing issues of human rights violations that occurred, and continue to occur, as a result of conflict and violence. The role of women as contributors to a plural ethos in the country is stressed.

In Colombo, 34 women Local Government Authority members and women community leaders attended the workshop where resource people included Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda former Senior Professor at University of Colombo, Dr. Dinesha Samararatne from the Law Faculty at the University of Colombo and Dr. Jehan Perera, NPC Executive Director. Despite being empowered, these women pointed out the difficulties that stand in their way in rising in the political hierarchy where less than six percent of parliamentarians are women.

Thirty six government officials participated in workshop held in the Kegalle district, including the Kegalle District Secretary. The resource persons were Jinasiri Dadallage former Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Manjula Gajanayake Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies.

In Anuradhapura 42 members of District Inter Religious Committees attended the workshop representing the districts of Kurunegala, Kandy, Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Resource persons were Dr. Jehan Perera NPC Executive Director, Professor Upul Aberathna Dean of Faculty of Political Science at the University of Peradeniya, lawyer Jagath Liyana Arachchi and Saman Seneviratne NPC Project Manager.