In an inspiring event was held on October 27, 2023, at the CSL Auditorium, the launching of Religious Amity Training Modules Book. This significant event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of CSL (Caritas Sri Lanka) and Caritas Colombo Seth Sarana. The event was commenced with a common prayer about love, led by Fr. Rangana, setting the tone for an inter-religious understanding and unity.
Delivering the welcome speech by Rev Fr. Luke Nelson, emphasized the pressing responsibility to build inter-religious amity, peace, and unity in Sri Lanka. He stressed the importance of continuous efforts to strengthen the bonds between different faith communities, highlighting the mediatory role of religious leaders in promoting inter –religious harmony. During his opening remarks, Rev Fr. Luke Nelson shared his conviction that religious leaders must work together to build peace in Sri Lanka, as the foundation for a harmonious and prosperous society. He emphasized the need for continuous improvement in this critical work.
The author of the book, Dr. Ravindra Ranasinghe, was introduced by Sr. Deepa, who emphasized the necessity of creating awareness about inter-religious amity from the grassroots level. Dr. Ravindra Ranasinghe, in his input session, described the book as an experimental compilation of past experiences and research, containing 19 modules aimed at promoting inter-religious understanding. He advocated for the integration of these modules into school curricula, Sunday schools, and teacher training programs. His vision is to instill these values from a young age creating a lasting impact on the future generation.
Mrs. H. N. Kumari – the Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhism and Cultural Affairs, during her address, underscored the importance of explaining the need for and significance of inter-religious amity to field officers from various departments of cultural affairs. She encouraged the creation of a dedicated group to take these amity modules to the grassroots level. Mrs Kumari also pledged support for the successful implementation of this initiative, including opportunities for CSL to engage in policy implementation.
The highlight of the event was the official book launch, carried out under the guidance of Rev Fr. Luke Nelson National Director of CSL and Rev Fr. Heshan Director of Caritas Colombo Sethsarana. This event was enriched with the participation of Rev Fr. Anton Sudaraka who works on religions and values at the National Institute of Education, Rev Fr. Lestor Wijesooriya Director of the Inter-religious Coexistence Programme of the Colombo Archdiocese, Rev Fr. Dinesh Appuhamy Director of the Colombo Archdiocese Catechetical Additional Secretary ( Religious Affairs )Mrs. H. N. Kumari, Ministry of Buddhism and Cultural Affairs, Mr Siribaddana Commissioner General of the Buddhist Religious Affairs Department, Mr Z A M Faizal Director, Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, Mr Ani Kurukkan Director of Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs, Mrs Chathuri Pinto Director Of Department of Christian Religious and Cultural Affairs. This momentous occasion marks a significant step forward for CSL, with the potential to bring about a more united, peaceful, and harmonious Sri Lanka.
The “Religious Amity Training Modules” book and its launch symbolized a collective commitment to fostering inter-religious understanding, promoting unity, and building a more peaceful future for all in Sri Lanka. This Training Module was made possible with the funding assistance of Caritas Norway / NORAD.