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His Excellency the President in his capacity as a Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation launched a programme in February 2017 in Colombo to institutionalize national integration and reconciliation concepts and principles into the Sunday Religious school teaching covering Daham Pasal (Buddhism), Araneri School (Hinduism), Ahadiya Schools (Muslim religious schools) and Christian school with a view to create united, reconciled, conflict free , harmonious society  by respecting and valuing diversity in religion, language , ethnicity and thereby promoting an inclusive society.

Under this programme, the principles such as kindness, love, compassion, forgiveness, equity, brotherhood, tolerance, human rights and mutual respect will be imparted through the religious teaching to create the children as better citizens of tomorrow. Religions are the precious guidelines of human civilization and all individuals should practice the teaching of peace, unity and patients as taught in respective religions.

The programme activities included the following:

  • Impart National Integration and Reconciliation (NIR) to Sunday school teachers of all faith with knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) on NIR to serve as peace messengers and peace advocates.
  • National integration and reconciliation (NIR) declaration to be observed by all religious teachers and it should be put into operation in their respective Sunday religious classes.
  • Ethics, virtues, and values such as love, kindness, compassion, equity, tolerance, respecting diversity and human rights should be taught in the religious school teaching. Religious fanaticism, language extremism, regional extremism and hate speech should be eliminated to inculcate peace among school children and teachers.
  • Issue knowledge based products on integration and reconciliation to school teachers to equip them with knowledge on reconciliation and peace building which in turn will be shared with Sunday school students.
  • Five Reconciliation Friendly Sunday Religious School Programmes were conducted in this regard in Colombo, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Kurunegala, covering 4854 Sunday school teachers.
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