The event was organised near a crowded beach during the breaking fast time. Most the people who passed by were curious to see that different religious leaders were taking part in the Ifthar. DIRC members were able to explain its work and objectives to people.
The project is supporting inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue at the local level in order to create networks and understanding among religious and other community leaders in the Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts, both located within a high risk province. For this purpose, a DIRC will be formed in Trincomalee and the existing one in Batticaloa will be expanded to include areas prone to conflict within the district.
Tensions in the Batticaloa district had risen recently among people of different religions because of a lack understanding of cultural practices and festivals, leading to misconceptions about the meaning of these practices.
One of the ways identified by Batticaloa DIRC to alleviate this problem was finding commonalities in religions and religious practices in order to bring the divided communities together. The members decided to conduct the Ifthar event with the participation of leaders from all four religions, since the concept of fasting was present in them all.
The event started with the prayer from a female Maulavi followed by a welcome speech by the group leader who explained the work of the DIRC. Other religious leaders spoke about the concept of fasting in their respective religions.
A Christian leader mentioned that it was her first time to learn about fasting in other religions while a Sinhala participant said that he had not been aware of the commonalities among the religions.