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HON. MINISTER'S MESSAGE

 

Message from His Excellency the President and the Hon. Minister

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During the last two and a half years, the Government has taken several important steps that are necessary for consolidating democracy, freedom, good governance, rule of law and reconciliation. Through such transformative steps we have laid the foundation to forge National Integration and Reconciliation and ensure non-recurrence of conflict in the country. As a country that has suffered from conflict for 30 years, we are drawing from experiences and lessons to strengthen National Integration and Reconciliation and we are determine to prevent the recurrence of conflict. Even though, since ancient times people from different communities have lived in peace and harmony in this Country, after attaining independence our inability to sustain and manage the spirit of unity, brotherhood and sisterhood paved the way for conflict. As a result of this conflict, we have lost many opportunities that we could achieve sustainable development.

We need to be united as a single nation, respect diversity of difference ethnicity and religion and recognize diversity as an asset for a beautiful country. We also need to build a moralistic and ethical future for our youth. It is our responsibility and obligation to look back at our history and deliver justice and provide reparation to overcome their concerns and grievances without any deferment. In order to bring reconciliation in Sri Lanka, my Ministry is working on an agenda and closely collaborate and  work with school children, youth, religious leaders, media, private sector and civil society organizations and development partners to achieve this nationally important task.

We have special programmes such as Integration Friendly Schools Programme, Integration Friendly Universities/ Youth Programme, Reconciliation Friendly Media Programme, Reconciliation Friendly Sunday Religious Schools Programme, District Reconciliation Committees to address tensions and support conflict resolution, healing and repatriation programmes. While undertaking many other interventions, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation has initiated 50,000 Brick and Mortar Type Housing Programmes, Reconciliation Focused High Priority Road Projects, Livelihood and Economic Empowerment Projects which will go long way in supporting the conflict affected communities in ensuring united and reconciled society.

I offer my special wishes to all those who are working in partnership with Government in achieving this national endeavour.    I invite all the people of Sri Lanka to be partners of the Reconciliation effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Maithripala Sirisena

President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation

 

HON. STATE MINISTER'S MESSAGE

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The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation is one of the most important Ministries which come under the direct purview of His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

A united Sri Lanka is very fundamental to make this beautiful country with abundance of Natural resources to achieve prosperity. Sri Lanka believes strongly on the concept of “Unity in Diversity” which is a concept which is globally accepted. Today we have an excellent opportunity to be united as a single nation keeping all our differences aside. 

The Ministry is working very closely with the teachers, school children, religious leaders, youth, media personnel and different ethnic and religious communities to strengthen the concept of “Unity in Diversity”.  Any country which has sectarian approach and ethnic, religious conflicts cannot achieve prosperity. Therefore national integration, reconciliation and peace building has become the most fundamental enabling factor for economic growth and prosperity.

I look forward as a State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation to work with all stake holders and communities to make Sri Lanka a united country to achieve prosperity.

A.H.M.Fowzie M.P,

State Minister of National Integration & Reconciliation

SECRETARY'S MESSAGE

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The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation is one of the key Ministries that comes under His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The H.E the President serves as the Minister in charge of the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation. The Ministry believes that a harmonious society is fundamental for a prosperous nation therefore, multi- ethnic and multi-religious communities and the religious and cultural diversities are recognized as a source of strength in which mutual respect and dignity of all people to achieve durable peace and prosperity prevails.

The vision of the Ministry is to respect and value diversity, promote integration, facilitate reconciliation and ensure non-recurrence of conflict to build a pluralistic and inclusive society. The Ministry has formulated a national policy on reconciliation which is translated into a reconciliation actin plan with clearly defined roadmap for the multi-ethnic and religious groups to live with dignity and self- respect.

Under H.E the President’s directive the Ministry has declared “The National Integration and Reconciliation week“ which falls from 8th to 14th  the January every year. The Ministry has also established District Reconciliation Committees (DRCs) based on a Cabinet decision initiated by H.E the President to resolve religious and ethnic tensions at the local level. These DRCs comprise of inter religious leaders whom we believe could bring about a change to achieve, unity, harmony, brotherhood and sustainable peace. 

As a Ministry responsible for National reconciliation action has been taken to implement Integration Friendly Schools Programme, Integration and Reconciliation Friendly Sunday Religious Schools Programme, Integration friendly Media Programme (Peace Journalism), Reconciliation Focused Youth Programmes, Reconciliation Focused Economic Empowerment Programme. The Ministry has also initiated to construct 50,000 brick and mortar type housing programme and read development projects in all conflict affected Northern and Eastern Districts. The Reconciliation Focused Economic Empowerment Project aims to support Northern and Eastern community with livelihood and economic empowerment and it will contribute to establish strong business linkage between North and South. The ministry also undertakes healing programmes covering livelihood support, rainwater harvesting, anchorages facilities, economic and social infrastructure with a view to address the trauma and to heal the wounds of the conflict.

The Ministry also focuses special attention on refugee returnees, internally displaced persons, war widows, women headed families, families with missing persons, differently abled and socially integrated combatants. The Ministry very closely works with President’s Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Secretariat for Co-ordination Reconciliation Mechanism, Office for National Unity and Reconciliation  and other line ministries and agencies, development partners including UNDP, UNICEF, EU, GIZ and others, Civil Society Organizations such as National Peace Council, Asia Foundation, EQUITAS, Centre for Humanitarian Affairs, USAID, UNHABITAT, Government of India, Australian High Commission, Chamber of Commerce, Centre for Ethnic Studies, world Concerns etc. to promote national integration and reconciliation.

I wish to specially express my sincere appreciation for H.E the President for his strategic guidance, Hon. Prime Minister for his advice and support and State Minister Hon.A.H.M.Fowzie for his active involvement and Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, Chairperson Office for National Unity and Reconciliation for her advice and the Northern and Eastern Provinces Development Committee for their close guidance and support. I also wish to thank all the District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries closely working with us to implement the programmes efficiently and effectively. Further, I also wish to thank the Parliamentary Sectorial Oversight committee Hon. Mavai Senathiraja and the members, Hon. Members of the Parliament and the member of the Provincial Council for their continuous interaction.  

 

V.Sivagnanasothy 

Secretary 

Ministry of National Integration & Reconciliation

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