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Monday, 05 July 2021 07:56

Learning from International Experience How to Prevent Violent Extremism

Thirty participants attended two online training sessions held under NPC’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) project from the districts of Kandy, Kurunegala, Mannar, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Ampara where the project is being implemented jointly with Helvitas Sri Lanka and funded by the EU.

NPC’s Programme Advisor Sumadhu Weerawarne identified the importance of push and pull factors and making an accurate contextual analysis. Many issues related to PVE were discussed including the definition of violent extremism, how it is created, how to identify it and how to prevent it. Existing national and international definitions of violent extremism and examples of violent extremism were explored.

NPC Executive Director Dr. Jehan Perera briefed participants on violent extremism in Cyprus, Bangladesh and Northern Ireland. He mentioned that in the late 1990s, NPC had provided parliamentarians from both the government and opposition with an opportunity to study those countries and their peace processes by visiting them. Several participants gave presentations on the push and pull factors of violent incidents in their districts.

“The training programme was a very useful one because violent extremism is a new topic for us, which should be studied in depth. We need to have a good understanding of the issue before we educate others,” said Gamini Jayaweera from Kandy. "We learn about new issues from different angles. This is important for our knowledge and future awareness programmes" said Peter Sinclair from the Mannar District.