The inaugural chapter of a yearlong confab themed ‘Solving the peace puzzle: A critical stakeholder discussion in achieving sustainable peace in Sri Lanka’ was held recently with much pomp and pageantry at Avicenna Institute of Global Learning in Galle Face Terrace amidst a distinguished gathering.
The groundbreaking conference aimed at ushering a paradigm shift in sustainable peace was organised by ‘Citizens’ in collaboration with Avicenna Institute for Global Learning, Deshodaya, Who Is Hussain - Sri Lanka, Hype Sri Lanka, Young Legal Professional Association of Sri Lanka, Social Service.lk, Janapahana Foundation, Interfaith Colombo, The Road to Rights, Youth Forum for National Reconciliation and International Youth Alliance for Peace. The event was chaired by Citizens President and Global Youth Peace Ambassador Mahees Ahamed Madani, who is also the Head Representative of Who Is Hussain – Sri Lanka.
Sarvodaya Shramadhana Movement President Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne who graced the occasion as the keynote speaker underscored youth participation in peace-building while guest speakers Chiranthi Senanayake, former UN Youth Delegate (2016/2017), and Attorney Nethmini Madawela, Consultant to the Finance Ministry and Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms, took on perspectives of the government and youth on achieving sustainable peace in the contemporary society.
Coinciding with the International Day of Peace marked on September 21, the programme featured a panel discussion on ‘Growth of youth radicalization as a challenge to sustainable peace and practical measures to curb the spread of religious extremism.’
The programme featured a panel discussion on ‘Growth of youth radicalization as a challenge to sustainable peace and practical measures to curb the spread of religious extremism’
The panelists were Kirthi Sri Deshashakthi Samajaseva Kirthi Dr. Furkhan Noordeen, Kirthi Sri Deshabandu Dr. Junius Silva, Enable Sri Lanka Foundation President Janith Rukmal and Anojitha Sivaskaran who is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in peace and conflict resolution at Kelaniya University with Chanya Ranathunga as moderator.
The comprehensive discussion focused on the government’s role in combatting youth radicalization, response to extremism in ethno-religious communities in line with inclusivity and countering radicalization, burdens placed upon youth, pragmatic approaches to combat youth radicalization and spread of extremism, diverse process of youth radicalization and avenues by which it occurs, politicisation of youth development, promotion of sustainable peace through dialogue and policy measures that could be adopted by governing authorities in the aftermath of the dastardly Easter Sunday carnage.
A tapestry of items including a candlelight vigil, recital of poems and a peace song by Wesleyite Murthaz Barry added glamour to the evening. The programme was hosted by ‘Citizens’ Coordinator and upcoming compere Dinith Senaratne.