Harmony Centres and Clubs to Promote Sustainable Peace in Sri Lanka

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Recovering from thirty years of conflict, the greatest challenge Sri Lanka was facing in 2013 was to maintain the peace and stability it has achieved. Although political violence ended in Sri Lanka in May 2009, the ideologies of communalism and sectarianism remained in the fringes of Sri Lankan society. The Harmony Centres and clubs concept was introduced in Sri Lanka with the understanding that taking peace for granted and failure to invest in social harmony will return Sri Lanka to social unrest and conflict; and recognizing community initiatives are imperative in advancing the spirit of reconciliation as social harmony cannot be achieved by the directives of the state alone.
The mission of the Harmony Centres and Clubs is to promote inter-ethnic, intercultural, and inter-religious understanding and interactions and provide holistic education for conflict transformation in contributing towards the development of a trusting and resilient nation.

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Harmony Centres and Clubs to Promote Sustainable Peace in Sri Lanka

  1. 1. Establishing Harmony Centres in Sri Lanka
  2. 2. We have won one of the most ruthless wars. But how can we embrace peace?
  3. 3. ‚If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace‛ - Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. 4. ‘When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.’ -Peace Pilgrim Quote • .
  5. 5. Introduction to Harmony Centres in Sri Lanka (HCS)
  6. 6. Objectives • To promote community initiatives in harmonious living • To enhance inter-cultural, inter-ethnic and inter-religious interactions • To recreate and sustain a resilient nation
  7. 7. Focus • Cultivate and promote the importance of harmony and reconciliation • Engage local communities in a manner that embraces their unique heritage to foster a collective rich national identity. • Add value to the individual, social, economic, health, spiritual needs
  8. 8. Values • Being sensitive and respectful towards diversity • Understanding ground realities and providing sustainable solutions; • Responsible and resilient in promotion of harmony and reconciliation; and • Empowering people by enhancing their ability to become meaningful contributors.
  9. 9. Structure of the Harmony Centres National Level District Level Community Level •National Advisory Committee •National Harmony Centre Secretariat •District Coordination Committee •District Harmony Centres •Harmony Clubs
  10. 10. National Advisory Committee • To Develop Policies and Guidelines, and advice on HCS • The committee will consist of representatives from, o o o o GOSL Security Forces Religious Dignitaries Selected NGOs
  11. 11. National Harmony Centre Secretariat • Implementation of the Project • Monitor District Harmony Centres and • Critical Feedback
  12. 12. Research and Training National Harmony Centre Secretariat Resource Centres Culture & Entertainment Sports & Physical Education Community Assistance Health & Wellbeing IT & Media Maintenance
  13. 13. Research and Training • Implement and Manage Research projects, • Organize Conferences, Seminars, Workshops, • Training programmes including language training, conflict transformation, Sri Lankan Studies, History • Publish research findings
  14. 14. Resource Centres on Harmony National Resource Centre (NRC) District Resource Centres (DRC) (24) Harmony Club Resource Centres
  15. 15. Role of the Harmony Resource Centres • To collect, classify, process and deliver print and electronic information on Peace and Reconciliation. • The resource centre will include material concerning, o o o o o o o o o o Sri Lankan Studies History Sri Lankan Culture Sri Lankan Identities Conflict Resolution, Human Rights in relation to Peace and Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Issues, Religious Conflict, Cultural impact on peace, Transitional Justice, Government , UN and NGO reports on peace
  16. 16. All Resource Centres will be networked and inter-linked with the Government Libraries and Civil Society Network for Information Sharing. Harmony Resource Centres should be people friendly, interactive, equipped with state of the art technology and well designed using unique Sri Lankan architecture to portray distinguish identity and attract people.
  17. 17. Culture and Entertainment
  18. 18. • Cultural and Entertainment unit will work on enhancing all forms of cultural activities by organizing, o o o o o cultural festivals, artist camps, photographic and artist exhibitions, dance and drama festivals and conducting performing arts training programmes. • This unit will work closely with Ministry of Culture and Arts to give significance for its activities.
  19. 19. Sports and Physical Education
  20. 20. Sports and Physical Education unit • will work closely with Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Youth Affairs in developing physical fitness, peace and harmony through sports. • This unit will also focus on reviving traditional sports and martial arts.
  21. 21. Community Assistance • will develop the plan of action with the consultation of the community. • They will work closely with the community societies, Samudhri officers, NGOs and INGOs. • Would provide direct support or link community to the required services.
  22. 22. Health and Wellbeing • work on reviving the traditional healing and wellbeing practices in the university community. Such as organizing yoga classes, meditation classes, Ayurveda, Siddha and other forms of traditional healing clinic; workshops on wellbeing. • This unit will work closely with the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine and Ministry of Health in fulfilling their vision.
  23. 23. IT and Media • Online Harmony Centre • Publicity on Mass Media
  24. 24. Online Harmony Centre A platform to share news, resources and interact on Harmony in Sri Lanka. The On-line Harmony Centre will link all the Harmony Centres, Harmony Clubs and Harmony Libraries. The Objectives, • To create awareness and share information on the activities of Harmony Centres, • To promote Government agenda for reconciliation and transitional justice in Sri Lanka, • To provide a record of programmes conducted through the web page; • To provide information on policies, laws, project reports, research papers, baselines, evaluations on reconciliation and transitional justice through a web portal, • To provide access to online resource databases and scholarly information on peace, reconciliation, conflict resolution and on Sri Lanka and to promote Reconciliation and transitional justice through Social networking interfaces
  25. 25. Staff – National Harmony Secretariat • National Project Director • Six National Project Coordinators (Research & Training, Library, Culture, Sports, Community Support, Health & Wellbeing) • • • • National Webmaster Admin Officer Finance Officer Assistants
  26. 26. District Coordinating Committee • To coordinate and implement Projects at the District Level • Members of the Committee will include representatives of o o o o GOSL Security Forces Religious Dignitaries and Selected NGO
  27. 27. District Harmony Centres • Establish and Monitor Harmony Clubs • Organize activities at the District level, • Provide feedback to the National Committee on District level Harmony activities.
  28. 28. Staff – District Harmony Centres • District Project Director • Six District Project Coordinators (Research & Training, Library, Culture, Sports, Community Support, Health & Wellbeing) • IT Office • Admin and Finance Officer • Assistants
  29. 29. Harmony Clubs • Established in all schools and all Universities • Linked to the District Harmony Centres • The School will appoint a Teacher to Coordinate the activities. • The School Harmony Club Library managed by the Librarian in the School.
  30. 30. The Pilot Project Harmony Centres in Killinochchi and Jaffna
  31. 31. Actively Initiating and promoting the work of Harmony Centres will endorse the commitment for Reconciliation and will effectively contribute towards sustainable development of Sri Lanka.

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