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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

 

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