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Tuesday, 01 May 2018 03:14

Two DIRCs Share Experiences

A joint three day meeting was held in Habarana between the Trincomalee and Batticaloa DIRCs under NPC’s project Inter-faith and Inter-ethnic Dialogue in Sri Lanka, facilitated by the Asia Foundation (TAF) and NPC. The meeting gave an opportunity for the two DIRCs to exchange experiences and learn from each other.

The meeting, which was attended by 77 DIRC members, led to meaningful discussions, stronger bonds and close relationships among members.

The project, which commenced in 2016, will run for two and a half years supported by the British High commission as well as TAF, and is aiming at promoting inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue at the local level to mitigate ethno-religious tension in the selected locations, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, where the three major ethnic groups, Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims, live in close proximity and there can be a high risk of communal conflicts.

Activities during the meeting included watching a film, a panel discussion, a lecture and leadership training. The film generated animated discussion about the peace process in the country. AMoulavi said the feeling of humanity and sympathy from a character in the film was the same feeling people had in their hearts towards other communities. He got the message that personal trauma caused by the war could be healed in time, so people should not be stuck in the past but should keep moving forward.

DIRC members emerged more united as a result of the meeting. They focused on the problems and challenges they currently faced, which enabled them to recognise their vision and future actions.