Promoting Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Restoration of friendly relations after adispute or a misunderstanding – ‘Reconciliation’

The Sri Lankan government andother humanitarian organizations have been actively and diligently working towardspeaceand reconciliation post the deadly war that has been tormenting the nation forthree decades.

Efforts taken in the form of educating and bringing awareness to people from the grass root level, building strong multi-ethnic bonds, human rights awareness, freedom of speech and various areas that initiate and promote peace and reconciliation are being constantly carried out. Nevertheless, the island has still not accepted it with both arms.

Although Sri Lanka now has the premise and infrastructure to leapfrog in
terms of peace and reconciliation, the change within oneself has still yet to
see the light of the day. This has been the most challenging factor.
Furthermore, the political instability, the inflation and depreciation of the
currency to the lowest level in the history of the island and immense
international pressure and intervention has pushed the country to takea deep
plunge in terms of growth and financial stability.

Addressing the challenge at hand has become the most important need of
the hour, and the active participation of the youth is deemed vital in
succeeding in this endeavor. Although this initiative has been commendably
kicked off and a great deal of participation from the youth can be observed,
unfortunately, it is a rare sight to see youth from villages taking part. It is
mostly the youth from the cities that show interest in supporting these endeavors
initiated by the respected organizations.

In respect to support this initiative that is hoped to bring positive
changes amongst us and the society, IYAP
(International Youth Alliance for Peace) supported byThe British Council Sri Lanka conducted an Active Citizen workshop
in the Galle district for a period of 5 days under the subject #PALP (Peace Ambassador Leadership Program).

Active Citizens is a global network of community leaders that is being
developed by the British Council and local civil society partners in
participating countries.

The program consisted of 25 participants from the Galle district comprising of different religions, cast, creed including the Buddhists, Hindu, Christians and The Muslims. Most importantly, 4 of these participants represented the SPDA (Southern Province Deaf Association). The participants were given valuable insight on how to actively march towards achieving peace and reconciliation first within oneself and then towards the nation.

As part of the one-year program, these 25 participants shall be being constantly carried this program. This will closely monitor the participants and guide them in participating and actively contribute to attain the end goal. To encourage them to act, think and work towards a peaceful world ultimately becoming an Active Citizen.

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