The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) and 22 selected Civil Society Organizations was signed recently at ONUR to expand national unity and reconciliation projects island-wide to create a discourse on reconciliation at grass root level.
The main objective of this step is to expand the “Heal the Past Build the Future” project in 17 districts. The chosen districts are Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Ratnapura, Ampara, Mannar, Galle, Kalutara, Kilinochchi, Kurunagala, Matara, Monaragala, Nuwara-Eliya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya.
These Civil Society Organizations were selected through Government procedures and it is intended to have their support continuously.
The overall objective of this unique initiative is that physical and human infrastructure at the level of Divisional Secretaries is being developed and strengthened for designing and implementing a national level reconciliation initiative in Sri Lanka.
The “Heal the Past – Build the Future” programme intends to implement several activities including the development of cooperation and coordination between government officials and civil society representatives at District level through the creation of a networked resource pool. Community-level awareness programmes on the importance of reconciliation are being formulated to support follow up local-level peace-building initiatives from the community (identified as ‘seed activities’) through Divisional Secretariats in a sustainable manner.
The Director General of the ONUR Mr. M.S Jayasinghe and respective officials of selected Civil Society Organizations graced this occasion.