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national reconciliation policyThe principal recommendations I sent to the President were based on 70 meetings over the year of District and Divisional Secretariat Reconciliation Committees. Two meetings were held in every Divisional Secretariat in the North, excluding the Jaffna District, where four meetings were held altogether. There were 20 meetings in Divisional Secretariats in the East, in addition to meetings at District Secretariats and with the Governors of the North and East, who were  extremely helpful.

I also sent some other recommendations related to issues raised at the various meetings of stakeholders that took place in my Colombo office. The most significant of these was the working group to prepare a National Policy on Reconciliation, set up following a discussion on Reconciliation initiated by the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies. The group was multi-ethnic and multi-religious and included representatives of other political parties as well as Civil Society.

The initial draft was discussed at length with representatives of several political parties. They recommended consulting religious leaders and media and Civil Society personnel, after which a final draft was sent to the President.

The draft was welcomed by the various groups that participated in consultations related to Reconciliation. These included

  1. Civil Society Partners for Reconciliation – Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations which have worked towards reconciliation, along with diplomatic missions that have contributed actively to government approaches to reconciliation. Needs that emerged at Divisional Secretariat meetings and elsewhere were sometimes met by participants.
  1. Religion, Education And Pluralism – Representatives of all major religions practiced in Sri Lanka, who described interventions they had engaged in to promote fellow feeling and suggested ways of developing linkages. They sent the President a proposal about helping with teacher training in areas where shortages cause problems that inhibit communication across communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Rajiva Wijesinha

February 2013
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