Two meetings were held in the Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts under NPC’s project, Inter-faith and Inter-ethnic dialogue in Sri Lanka, for DIRC members, local politicians, police officers and government officials to discuss common concerns and issues causing religious and ethnic tension in the areas.
Kandy District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) members travelled to 14 districts across the country sharing their experiences of how they dealt with the anti-Muslim violence that erupted in their district earlier this year.
Newly elected Municipal Council members from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) and selected municipal staff members participated in three day workshop that was organized with support from USAID’s Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project and NPC. NPC resource persons provided inputs on the reconciliation process for councillors.
Under the IMPACT project, NPC conducted two Transitional Justice (TJ) workshops for students of Nilwala College of Education in the Matara District. Resources persons were lawyer Jagath Liyana Arachchi and NPC Project Manager Saman Seneviratne. Two hundred participants attended both training programmes.
The Ampara District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC), local politicians and community leaders organized a Peace Conference in Kalmunai under NPC’s Religions to Reconcile (R2R) Project. Over 200 community members from Kalmunai, Irakkamam, Digavapi and Higurana, including differently abled people, attended the conference.
A series of training workshops on Transitional Justice (TJ) was held for university students and youth under NPC’s project Youth Engagement with Transitional Justice for Long Lasting Peace in Sri Lanka, which is funded by the UN Peace Building Fund. The programme for universities was held at the Eastern University for 53 undergraduates and was supported by the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM).
A peace march to promote religious freedom and pluralism was organized by the Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) in Weligama and NPC’s local partner Voice of South under the NPC’s project Collective Engagement for Religious Freedom (CERF). The message of the march was creating coexistence through multi religious values, teachings and celebrations.
Under NPC’s project Inter-faith and Inter-ethnic dialogue in Sri Lanka, members of the District Inter Religious Committees (DIRCs) in Batticaloa and Trincomalee discussed several issues that were contributing to religious and ethnic tension in their districts, and planned activities to alleviate the tension.
In a citizens’ response to the riots that took place in Kandy in March this year, a Citizens’ Truth Commission was set up by the Kandy District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) to find the root causes of the violence.