Friday, 19 October 2018 19:46

Peace and Coexistence Discussed During Exchange Visit

DIRC members and other participants including religious leaders from Puttalam and Mannar travelled to Nuwara Eliya for an inter district exchange visit under NPC’s Religions to Reconcile project.

The project is implemented in partnership with Generations for Peace (GFP), an international peace-building organization based in Amman, Jordan, and supported entirely by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is the U.S. Government’s development agency. The overall goal of this project is to strengthen community networks mentored by religious leaders and engage them in building consensus for transitional justice and a pluralistic identity.

During the discussions, Sister Rubrani Joseph from Mannar DIRC, said, “What can you do to ensure religious harmony? We should not criticise the other’s religion or culture. We must have the freedom to choose our own religion. We must not say that one religion is superior to the other. Instead, we must learn the other’s religious teachings and values and engage in a self-evaluation, believing in our common humanity and spirituality”.

Sivasri Nandakumar Kurukkal, from Nuwara Eliya DIRC, said, “Equality is a necessary precondition for peace and if laws are upheld, there will be peace. The general public knows little about the laws and often break them because they do not see it as a wrongdoing. There are deficiencies in the law but the media can play a role in information dissemination to a great extent. However, they show cookery shows and beauty shows and people remain in the dark about the laws.”

Dayalan Rajah, member of the Mannar Youth Group, said, “Many issues divide us but we continue to engage with each other. In the youth group we are trying to recreate the time we lived peacefully. We will have a photography exhibition to celebrate this. Peace is not somewhere else, it is where we act together.”