Over 500 religious leaders and civil society activists from around the country took part in a National Inter Religious Symposium on Building a Pluralistic Society organized by NPC under its project Consolidating Ongoing Multi-Level Partnership Actions for Conflict Transformation (COMPACT).
At the National Inter Religious Symposium, NPC’s 25 years of existence was celebrated with the cutting of 17 cakes, one each for a district. For 25 years NPC has journeyed with religious leaders, civil society activists and community representatives to build sustainable peace in the country.
NPC and its partner Helvetas Sri Lanka carried out a two day virtual learning conference on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) with international and local resource persons under its project Capacity Building for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on PVE in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The initiative is being implemented across six districts with support from Helvetas Sri Lanka and funded by the European Union.
The role that religious clergy can play in bringing divided communities together cannot be under estimated.
Forty civil society representatives from Local Inter Religious Committees (LIRCS) in Weligama, Beruwala, Negombo, Akurana, Mannar, Rakwana, Kuliyapitiya, Batticaloa, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Panduwasnuwara and Addalaichchenai participated in an online training programme on religious freedom and rule of law under NPC’s project Collective Engagement for Religious Freedom (CERF) facilitated by lawyer Jagath Liyana Arachchi.
Under its project Creative Youth Engagement for Pluralism, NPC conducted two days of training to teach over 130 students from the Eastern, Jaffna, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna universities about pluralism and community relations with a focus on how these topics related to their daily lives and to the Sri Lankan political and social situation.
A training programme on trauma counselling for 17 Befrienders of the Gampaha Human Rights First Aid Centres (HRFACs) was held under NPC’s Accountability through Community Engagement and Initiatives for Transition (ACE-IT) project, conducted by Senior Counsellor and Trainer, Sister Canice.
Ten training programmes on conflict analysis and management for state officials and religious leaders were conducted by master trainers under NPC’s project Technical Assistance to Justice Institutions in Sri Lanka in Badulla, Monaragala, Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
Under the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Activity, NPC organized five training programmes on Resilient Communities Through Everyday Democracy to enhance the participants' basic understanding of democratic values, review lessons from past training and identify key issues for creating a values-based democratic society.
NPC’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) engagement held an online facilitation training for its local partners as part of its strategy to adapt to the new normal that has arisen with the spread of Covid-19. This was supplemented by a survey on Digital Literacy among target groups – 291 members of Coexistence Societies across four districts (Ampara, Monaragala, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya) and 10 Grama Niladari divisions.