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எச்சரிக்கை

3388c34a8dd55d3f2de6bd553ebe6e6e.png-ஐ நீக்குதல் தோல்வியுற்றது.
f8c164678e887a97cfc5fdf70326390f.js-ஐ நீக்குதல் தோல்வியுற்றது.

 

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.

 

Globally it is acknowledged that the media has an important and strategic role to play in national integration, reconciliation and peace building. The media can contribute to conflict transformation on one hand and also contribute to the escalation of conflict on the other hand. Therefore, it is generally understood that the media can either make or break peace.

The international experiences revealed that in Kenya the media spread hate messages which created atrocities and led to genocides in early 1990s. Therefore, Media influences to shape perceptions, condition behaviour and impacts the minds, attitudes, emotions of readers and community at large. Fair and non-discriminatory reporting is a prime responsibility of the Media. Ethnic, religious and cultural diversities should be respected and media should not at any point of time attempt to disturb such enabling conditions for their own commercial and economic survival. However, Journalists are “truth tellers” but, media has a moral responsibility to promote reconciliation. The peace journalism is where editors and reporters make choices about what to report and how to report - to create opportunities to value non-violent responses to conflict. The professionalism of Journalists gets eroded due to personal emotions, interest, prejudices, audience preference, lack of ethics, concern for being overly market oriented or economic oriented, influenced by negativism or influenced by elite groups or one-sidedness or socially irresponsiveness and failure to look at diverse perspective.

  • Special programmes were conducted by the Ministry to give wider perspective of the social responsibilities of social media in peace building, reconciliation and support to maintain violence and tensions free atmosphere. Seven District programmes were conducted to Journalists on peace journalism covering about 473 Journalists and the journalists discussed the role of media in conflict transformation, reconciliation and peace building.
  • A national level sensitization should be given to the top level media personnel on disciplined reporting with social responsibility especially on reconciliation, integration and peace building.
  • Action will be taken to institutionalize peace journalism and reconciliation friendly media into the media ethics by working closely with organizations such as Sri Lanka Press Council and Media Ministry.
  • Special Media programmes with peace messages will be disseminated through the media to create a culture for integration, reconciliation, human rights, inclusiveness, equity, tolerance, fairness and peace building.
  • Journalists actively contribute to build an enabling culture for peace by publishing articles related peace building and national integration will be acknowledged and recognized.

 

The Integration Friendly School Programme places at the heart of the learning experience and makes reconciliation and peace building an integral part of the school life. Integration friendly schools is founded on the principles of respecting diversities in ethnic, religious and cultures; nondiscrimination, equality, human rights and ban on hate speeches and ensuring inclusiveness in schools. School teachers and children become powerful catalysts for change. The teachers and children under this programme are imparted with knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) to empower them as champions, change agents, messengers and advocates of peace.

The integration friendly school concept also focuses on brining children with different ethnic, religious and cultural background into a single school to get a better understanding, relationship, tolerance, forgiveness and empathy to ensure respecting diversity. The multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural approach enables students to be broader in their perspective as against the mono-culture type schools

The objective of this programme is to institutionalize virtues, values and ethics and comparative religious studies in the religious curriculum and make the children a holistic personality as better leaders for tomorrow. The children will also have strong influence on national integration and reconciliation not only within the schools but also at the family and community level.

Circulars were issued to all schools island-wide to observe the declaration by the school teachers and children under this programme and the Ministry participated in sample of 7 schools to witness the programme. The sample 7 schools covered 7,700 children and 545 school teachers.

 

University students and Youth can play a significant role as peace messengers and peace advocates and can influence community. The objective of this programme is to provide reconciliation and integration concepts and principles to the University students and Youth to enable them to provide Leadership to peace, integration and reconciliation through knowledge, attitude and practice. 

It is necessary to observe the declaration on reconciliation in all Universities and Youth Corps and actively involve them in peace walk, human right initiatives and sensitize and propagate peace through cultural programme covering poems, music, sports, drama, cartoons and art competitions and peace photography. A programme is being organized on human rights on international human rights day which fall on 10th December by actively involving the Youth in advocacy for human rights, peace and reconciliation

A programme for Youth is being organized in collaboration with Youth Council in Maharagama and it incorporates a special parliamentary debate and discussion on peace building in Youth Parliament. This programme is scheduled to be held in December 2017.

 

The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation declared the week from 8th to 14th January as a national integration week and this was declared and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and the dates are aligned to the date of assumption of office by the His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena. The main aim of the national integration week is to promote unity, peace, brotherhood and harmony among different ethnic, religious, cultural and regional communities while respecting and recognizing the richness of the diversity. The concept is based on “unity in diversity”.

Under the national integration week many reconciliation and integration programmes were conducted island-wide among school children, Youth, University students, media personnel, Government of officials, inert-religious leaders, foreign missions and Private sector/ Chamber of Commerce.

During the national integration week the following special activities were undertaken:

  • Declaration on National Integration and Reconciliation

National integration and reconciliation Declaration was developed in close consultation with all stakeholders and the declaration was institutionalized in schools, Sunday religious schools and among government officials in Department and Ministries and Private sector/ Chamber of Commerce.

  • Promote national integration and reconciliation among school children :

The programme includes speech by students of different ethnicities/ religions on national integration and reconciliation and emphasize its importance in school assemblies and classrooms and read the declaration in a collective manner to inculcate unity in diversity.

  • Awareness Creation and Sensitization :

Awareness creation and sensitization programmes on reconciliation were carried out in all three languages through print, electronic and social media among school children, Sunday religious school teachers, government officials in Departments and Ministries, Private sector and general public.

  • Release of Lands:

Released Urani Coastal Area Land in Jaffna under the custody of Navy for fishing activities to mark the reconciliation week.

  • Commemoration stamp 

A commemoration stamp was released to mark the integration week by His Excellency the President.

  • Booklet on Declaration on National Integration and Reconciliation

Leaders pledged with commitment to national integration and reconciliation and booklet on declaration in all three languages was issued.

  • Declaration of National Integration and Reconciliation Week

Symbolizes and marks the importance of integration by the Government and serves to mobilize support from all stakeholders.

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