Wednesday, 06 November 2019 16:49

Community Leaders Trained to Be Prepared to Prevent Conflict

Training programmes on preparedness were held in Galle, Matara and Nuwara Eliya under NPC’s project Religions to Reconcile: Strengthening Inter-Religious People-to-People Community Engagement for Reconciliation and Social Cohesion in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka, which is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) the U.S. Government’s development agency.

The project is working with religious leaders and community leaders to address and mitigate religious and ethnic tension by working within the pluralistic framework.

The objective of the training programmes was to ensure that District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) members and other group members would be able to intervene to prevent community conflict because it escalated into violence.

Participants learnt about various aspects of conflict transformation including conflict management and conflict prevention. While the term preparedness was used mainly in disasters relief activities, it could also be used in the context of being prepared in advance to deal with conflict situations.

Participants examined conflict analysis practices, conflict mapping and timeline tools as well as stakeholders mapping and case studies in the Kandy DIRC truth commission report.

“I was impressed by the way Kandy DIRC was committed to find the truth and disseminate that report to everyone. Sometimes women believe information without verification and we inform others. Now I realize that this can lead to violence and destruction of property. So I will spread this message to women I know,” a Nuwara Eliya woman DIRC member said.