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The EU/German Governments have extended grant support to the Government of Sri Lanka to Strengthen the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation which comes directly under the purview of H.E the President Maithripala Sirisena as Minister is the responsible Executing Agency for the Programme. The launching ceremony took place on 21st March 2018 at Hotel Taj Samudra with the participation of Hon A.H. M. Fowzie State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, Mr. Austin Fernando Secretary to H.E the President, His Excellency Tung Lai Margue Ambassador European Union, His Excellency Joern Rhode German Ambassador, Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation.

The total estimated cost of Euro (€) 14.5 Mn of which EU contribution was Euro (€) 12.0Mn and the contribution of Republic of Germany amounts to Euro (€) 2.4 Mn and British Council amounts to Euro (€) 0.1Mn.

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The  programme on strengthening reconciliation processes is very much aligned to the government's National Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and the Steering Committee with national representation demonstrate ownership, mutual accountability, and managing for results. The strengthening the reconciliation process broadly has two (2) outputs.

The first output focuses on:

  1. Institutional strengthening. Institutional strengthening includes engagement of schools; universities; media; religious dignitaries, civil society organisations; development of communication and outreach strategy; promote discourse on policy making; facilitate demand driven training and learning and institutionalising monitoring mechanism to track progress on reconciliation through scorecards and reconciliation barometer covering perception surveys.

The second component includes:

  1. Support for non-recurrence pillar. Non-recurrence can be promoted by reducing language barriers through official language skills in public service specially in Divisional Secretariats; Police stations; Court rooms; health clinics etc. Strengthening translators and interpreters and language courses for public servants; psychosocial support; mobile museum and memorialisation; commemorative space; and building trust are equally important to ensure non-recurrence. promoting art and culture and addressing tensions through mediation and negotiations are also effective strategies under this programme.

The project contributes to the SDG goal No.16 which focuses on promoting just, peaceful and inclusive society. The theory of change and the intervention logic are well balanced, but project activities need to be carefully selected to make the desired change said Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation.

Reconciliation and peacebuilding is all about changing the mindsets and pattern of thinking. Inculcating core virtues such as respecting diversity; ensuring equity, inclusiveness and fairness; building tolerance, empathy and trust; developing compassion; believing in justice; standing for yours and others rights; respecting others requires dedicated long-term efforts and not like building roads or houses. However, one should not get disappointed or distracted by few pockets of incidents and understand building trust, mutual respect, tolerance, and empathy requires a committed and dedicated continuous efforts with "can do" spirit. It is envisaged that this grant project will contribute significantly to support the reconciliation and sustainable peace building in Sri Lanka said Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation.

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