Thursday, 07 March 2019 08:16

Constitutional Reform Discussed at Grassroots Level

Several project orientation meetings and town hall meetings were held in districts across the country under NPC’s project, Consolidating Ongoing Multi-Level Partnership Actions for Conflict Transformation (COMPACT).

Project orientation meetings were held in Vavuniya, Ratnapura and Moneragala while town hall meetings were held in Moneragala, Kurunegala and Ratnapura.

COMPACT is a two-year extension of NPC’s Initiating Multi-level Partnership Action for Conflict Transformation (IMPACT) project that ended in Septmeber last year.

The project seeks to use the experience gained by members of District Inter Religious Commitees (DIRCs) in preventing and solving ethnic and religious conflicts that arise in their areas. Solving unresolved issues that were identified under the IMPACT project is a focus of the project, which is being implemented in 16 districts and targets new benficiaries including local level politicians and youth parliament members to address the problem of diminishing space for liberal and plural values.

Another focus was to foster discourse on the process of conflict transformation with national level religious leaders, professionals, academics and journalists. These are preliminary interventions aimed at using the space that has opened up to discuss the reconciliation from a pluralistic perspective.

The project orientation meetings were attended by religious leaders, youth parliament members, government officials and members of DIRCs. They discussed the scope and activities of the project as well as the current political situation and Constitutional reform.

The town hall meetings were attended by members of civil society organizations. Among the topics discussed were the proposed new Constitution and wrong interpretations of it and the value of a pluralistic society. In Moneragala and Kurunegala, it was decided to organize public meetings to explain the steering committee’s interim report on the new Constitution.