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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2160

One Day Joint Conference on the Role of Youth in Reconciliation

Colombo, 11 December, (

The Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL), the Premier National Security Think Tank operating under the Ministry of Defence (MOD), jointly with the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation will hold a one day conference on the topic of “Together to Peace, Respect, Safety and Dignity for all,” on the 12th of December at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo.

Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, A.H.M. Fowzie will be the Chief Guest and Secretary of Defence, Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC the Guest of Honour. The event expected to be attended by foreign ambassadors, other members of the diplomatic community, senior military officers including area commanders and sportsmen.

For the first time, a beneficiary of Sri Lanka’s successful rehabilitation programme will be making a special presentation based on personal experience relating to reconciliation and rehabilitation to a local and international audience.

A group of rehabilitated beneficiaries will also attend the conference as participants to share their experience.
Other speakers would include grassroots level activists of reconciliation representing all areas of the island, civil society activists and academics who have worked and done extensive research on reconciliation and related fields. Participants will share the same platform to express their ideas, opinions and experiences relating to promoting reconciliation initiatives amongst the youth of Sri Lanka.

INSSSL and the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation are in the view that, the selection of this topic of discussion is based on its timely importance as Sri Lanka is emerging from a decades old civil war that has polarized communities living in the island.

A deep entrenched issue with in the society has created a fragile peace that needs to be strengthened by addressing the core issues and the root causes of the conflict.

The youth play an important role in promoting peace and reconciliation in the island as it is them that would take over key policymaking roles in the country in the future.

The mobilization of youth for reconciliation purposes is key to long lasting peace as they have the capacity to initiate change and make an impact on issues that are close to their heart.

Actively involving these young individuals in reconciliation mechanisms would benefit both the person and the general war affected public in terms that the participation in reconciliation mechanisms could serve the purposes of rehabilitating and deradicalizing the youth whilst opening up an arena for them to share their ideas and opinions on how lasting peace could be achieved. Various transitional justice mechanisms implemented have also highlighted the positive role that the youth, particularly ones that have been direct victims of conflict could play in reconciliation.

The main objectives of the joint conference would be to act as an arena for the youth and ground level activists to voice their opinions and suggestions when engaging in reconciliation mechanisms and to be a facilitator for discussions between all stakeholders concerned. INSSSL and the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation hopes that the conference would lead to greater inclusiveness of the island’s youth in reconciliation initiatives and encouraged the targeted demographic to be icons of peace in tomorrow’s world.

- Asian Tribune -

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