DIRCs in Batticaloa and Trincomalee organized outdoor activities for 33 participants as a bonding and team building exercise under NPC’s project Inter-faith and Inter-ethnic Dialogue in Sri Lanka. DIRC members felt that these activities were necessary to build trust and acceptance of each other, which would lead to better ways of dealing with conflict and finding inner peace.
A series of dialogues with religious leaders in Beruwela, aimed at bringing together Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders to identify and discuss the root causes of religious tension and to make suggestions for possible solutions, is being held under NPC’s project, Collective Engagement for Religious Freedom (CERF).
NPC has launched a project to set up and maintain Human Rights First Aid Centers (HRFACs) where victims of human rights abuses can seek support and redress. The project, Accountability Through Community Engagement and Initiatives for Transition (ACE-IT), is supported by the European Union under its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights Country Based Support Scheme (CBSS).
Members of the National Inter Religious Committee representing the District Inter Religious Committees (DIRCs) established in 16 districts under the guidance of NPC handed over a resolution to former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Chairperson of Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), and Mano Ganesan, Minister of National Integration, Reconciliation and Official Languages, at a National Inter Religious Symposium in Colombo.
Four hundred participants including religious leaders of all faiths, government officials, university academics, students and representatives from youth organizations and civil society organizations attended NPC’s Inter Religious Symposium held in Colombo.
Two workshops on Transitional Justice (TJ) for youth were held in Kurunegala and Jaffna under NPC’s project Youth Engagement with Transitional Justice for Long Lasting Peace, with the participation of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM).
Several activities for youth were held under NPC’s project, Youth Engagement with Transitional Justice for Long Lasting Peace in Sri Lanka, including a training workshop on Transitional Justice (TJ) for 46 participants in Ratnapura, a stage drama on TJ for 650 new students at the Eastern University students and information sessions in Trincomalee and Batticaloa.
Matara DIRC organized an Ifthar activity during Ramadan in Weligama, in collaboration with the Weligama Municipal Council, to raise awareness in the community about respecting other cultures and religions and to strengthen unity between the Muslim and Sinhala communities.
Despite a plethora of development projects initiated in different parts of the country, there are many small communities that fall between the cracks. One such community is in Deniyaya. It is a Tamil community whose members work on tea plantations.