With Sri Lanka continuing to be in the throes of economic crisis, the focus of popular attention, and governmental initiatives, is on economic matters. However, the issue of inclusion, which informs peace and makes peace possible, is also important to the economic restoration of the country and its people.

One hundred and eighty District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) members, including religious leaders, government officials, youth leaders, university students and plantation sector communities, joined the walk of men and women working in the plantation sector organized by Collective for Maanbumigu Malaiyaha Makkal from Thalaimannar to Matale from July 28 to August 12. The walk, retracing the journey of the first group of Tamils brought to Sri Lanka to work on the plantations in the hill country, aimed at focusing attention on taking actions to address the pressing problems of the Malaiyaha community.

The concept of police brutality is not foreign to Sri Lanka and many commentators have accused the police of employing violence and abusing the law in the name of maintaining public order and national security. Due to the three decade war, the police has had to transform itself into a battle ready force; it is common for police officers to carry assault rifles.

Connecting emotions, experiences and expectations have been central in the project aimed at improving the capacity of staff of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP). Funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CLFI), NPC concluded the OMP project with nine sessions of outreach on empathy building. Held in Colombo, Matara, Mannar, Jaffna and Batticaloa, the sessions were delivered to the members of victim families as well as government officers with the objective of reconciling the issues and conflicts identified in the service delivery process. 

Elephants, associated with cultural and religious values, are seen as sacred animals and cultural symbols; they are also used for economic activities and tourism development.

Problem mapping is a technique used to analyse and understand complex problems by breaking them down into smaller components, figuring out the relation between these components, visualising and choosing what component to prioritise first. Mapping community problems is important to identify root causes and actual issues that are related to democracy and the vulnerability of women. Under NPC’s Women Organized for Inclusion through Community Engagement (WOICE) project, problem mapping discussions were held in the Matara, Monaragala, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Kegalle districts with the participation of 35 female supergroup members and 140 female peer group members in each district.

When it comes to wounds, injuries or injustices of the past, different words carry similar meanings; the commonalities lie in what experiences change in individuals, groups or organizations in the future. Therefore, the past has to be dealt with before looking to the future.

The CSO Collective held a meeting to discuss the deteriorating conditions in the country in which hardships of the people continue to grow along with governmental suppression of dissent. NPC was one of the core group of organizers. More than 500 leading civic activists from across the country attended the meeting. NPC took on the task of ensuring participation by clergy from all religions by facilitating the attendance of 68 religious clergy from its 17 District Inter Religious Committees as well as 25 youth and seven coordinators from its Local Inter Religious Committees. In addition, 24 representatives from NPC's partner CSOs at the district and divisional levels also attended.

A key feature in any democracy is the right to information. In Sri Lanka, the right to information is ensured through Article 14(1)(A) of the Constitution to all the citizens. It is subject to certain limitations prescribed in the legislation such as unwanted intrusion into the privacy and national security.

On the final phase of the project for government officers of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CLFI), four training programmes were held in Matara, Jaffna, Mannar and Batticaloa. Understanding the theoretical and practical concepts of pluralism and inclusivity, transitional justice, non-violent-communication and empathy aimed at bridging the gaps identified in earlier activities.