When asked whether he thought the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) had done anything constructive for victim families or if it would do so, a former OMP official at an event organised by NPC was not optimistic. The official was attending one of the six review meetings held in Mannar, Batticaloa and Jaffna under the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CLFI)/OMP project at a regional level to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of OMP services received by the families of victims. The willingness of the new OMP leadership to collaborate with CSOs in improving their service is a positive indication of a new start.

Saman Seneviratne, NPC’s Project Manager, is leaving the organization after two decades of dedicated and tireless service to the grassroots communities that NPC is engaged with. “NPC has come a long way since I accompanied Saman who was taking the lead to set up District Inter Religious Committees in places and towns I had never been to before. Some of those meetings were small with disempowered participants who did not know us and we did not know them. I saw the enormity of the challenge. Today when we go to those areas we are well recognised and those who attend our programmes are more empowered,” said NPC’s Executive Director Dr. Jehan Perera.

As Director of the Social and Economic Development Centre (SEDEC) in 1993, Fr. Oswald Firth encouraged spiritual leaders in Sri Lanka to play a bridge building role calling for peace and reconciliation and to commit themselves to sustained efforts, sacrifice and solidarity to create an atmosphere of trust, confidence and freedom to build a future based on the values of justice, human dignity and mutual respect.

As in 16 other districts throughout the country, the Kandy District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) meets regularly. The committee represents a common voice across all religions. While one channel of communications is media or press statements by religious leaders on provincial level, it is also a meeting platform for collective thought of all committee members including CBO and CSO representatives.

A workshop on pluralism and inclusion for 35 of senior prison officers from prisons in Sri Lanka was held under NPC’s project Plural Action for Conflict Transformation (PACT) with the participation of the Commissioner General of Prisons Chandana Ekanayake.

A need-based training on team building and leadership was organized for Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members in Rakwana under NPC’s Action for Religious Coexistence (ARC) project in collaboration with the District Secretariats in Rakwana and Godakawela. The 40 participants included religious leaders, police officers, Grama Niladari officers and NGO and community leaders.

A proper functioning of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) process was established to address long term grievances of the families of the disappeared. Unfortunately, this has been a disappointing process for many even after the establishment of the OMP in 2017 as part of the government’s commitment to the UN Human Rights Council to a transitional justice process for national reconciliation.

A training programme was conducted for 35 participants in Dehiowita on civic rights under NPC’s Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) project. In the aftermath of the economic crisis and rise of the protest movement, issues of civic space and freedom of association have become major challenges.

A training programme on Non Violent Communication (NVC) was carried out for 52 Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members of the Bandarawela LIRC under NPC’s Action for Religious Coexistence (ARC) project. By enhancing NVC skills it is expected that these community leaders will use the knowledge gained to mediate and solve existing issues in their areas.

NPC is supporting four selected state universities to capacitate frontline government officers to ensure delivery of non-discriminatory and inclusive service with funding support by Freedom House. Sabaragamuwa University and Eastern University commenced the academic activities of the Advanced Certificate Course in Inclusive Service Delivery for Sustainable Peace with government officials from the state’s management service, excise, national integration and village level Grama Niladari officers and development officers.

A food relief distribution programme was implemented by NPC under the National Language Equality Advancement Project (NLEAP) that was supported by Alinea International with the funds from the government of Canada.

Two conferences for 60 religious leaders, civil society representatives and journalists in the North Central Province and the Uva Province were held in Habarana and Monaragala under NPC’s Plural Action for Conflict Transformation (PACT) project.

To tackle potential religious conflicts during the upcoming local government elections, NPC’s Action for Religious Co-existence (ARC) project organized advocacy campaigns targeting Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members and candidates who are competing in the election. Eight campaigns have been carried out with the participation of 166 LIRC members and 177 election candidates in Trincomalee, Beruwela, Batticaloa, Mawanella, Mannar, Vavuniya, Ampara and Bandarawela.

Sabaragamuwa University commenced academic activities of the Advanced Certificate Course on sustainable peace through pluralism and inclusive service delivery, becoming the first of the four
universities where the course will be taught to do so. The course, funded by Freedom House, will deliver conceptual knowledge as well as work related methodologies to the frontline government officers so that they could provide a better service to the public who receive these services. The course content covers inclusive service delivery, nonviolent communication for service delivery, service delivery in a plural society, frontline service delivery and field practicum.

About us

The National Peace Council (NPC) was established as an independent and impartial national non-government organization