Tuesday, 08 October 2019 13:36

Cementing Ties and Building Understanding for Peace

Under the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Activity, a group of 46 community members from Trincomalee visited Jaffna to celebrate International Peace Day and share their experiences.

Addressing the participants Divisional Secretary of Thellippalai Division, Shanmugarasa Sivashri, said, “Sri Lanka is a small country but because of 30 years of civil war, people have become distant from each other. Due to the language barrier, people could not communicate and that led to the distance between different religious and ethnic groups. People left the Thellippalai area due to the war and under the resettlement process, people gradually settled in these areas. Those people have gone through traumatising experiences and I hope you will meet these people. It is important to share your experiences with them. I believe that these types of programmes are much needed.”

Reverend R. Stalin, Visiting Lecturer at University of Jaffna, spoke on the importance of reconciliation focusing on what had been said by all religions with regard to peace and unity. “Just having inner peace in your hearts cannot make peace in your minds. Therefore all of us have to question ourselves. You need to ask yourself whether you can respect other religions and ethnicities, whether you feel that your language is superior to other languages. First you need to create peace within yourself. Then you should build peace in your family and in your community. Through this you can build a path for sustainable peace.”

The Seruwila team visited the Grand Mosque in Jaffna where the Moulavi explained about Muslim religious rituals and other facts found in the Quran. The team also visited the Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya and Nagapooshani Amman Kovil.

The community members said that the visit had given them an opportunity to meet a new community in Jaffna and to visit religious and cultural places that they had never been to before.