‘Claretian Peacebuilding Initiatives–Sri Lanka’ (CPISL) organized a week-long ‘Peace Building Training Workshop’ at Gnanodayam, Mannar from 25th to 30th November, 2019. Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC was represented as well as like-minded organizations such as National Peace Centre, Centre for Communications Training, SJV Chelvanayakam Memorial Trust etc. In total 30 participants attended the well laid-out sessions conducted by facilitators, Mr. Orson P. Salgado from the Philippines who is the Head of CRS, Mr. Suchith Abeywickreme, Consultant for Sarvodaya and Mr Robert Omondi, a Claretian brother from Kenya.
Topics such as ‘What is Peace building?’, ‘Conflict analysis’, ‘Conceptual framework for grassroot level peace building’, ‘Justice’, ‘Reparations’, ‘Truth-telling’, ‘Conflict resolution skills’, ‘Tools for peace building and interreligious peace building’, ‘Peace advocacy and monitoring’, ‘The role of memorialization for healing and peace building’ and ‘Self-care practices for peace builders’ were covered with a lot of indoor and outside activities performed.
Real-time experiences on ‘Missing People’ and ‘Land grab by security forces’ were related by two people who were invited for the occasion. A panel discussion was also held with Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC, Mr. Ruki Fernando of ‘Inform’ and Mrs. Sharmila Seyyid, an activist and an award winning writer leading the proceedings as panelists. Many questions were raised during the panel discussions and the suitable answers were given by the panelists. Panel discussion was well moderated by Dr. Joe William, the Chairman of NPC. All the participants had the opportunity to attend a memorialization event in the village of Andankulam in the outskirts of Mannar.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Fernando, the Bishop of Mannar attended the training session briefly and delivered a speech highlighting the need of peace building. With the awarding of certificates to all the participants, the training programme was successfully completed. Rev. Fr. Joseph Jeyaseelan, CMF who was the coordinator of the training programme was showered with accolades for organizing a fruitful programme.