Strengthening Civil Society and Democratic Institutions for Peace and Stability

Project Contents
The thirty-year civil war in Sri Lanka has ended, however the ethnic division between the Sinhalese and Tamil groups is posing an obstacle to the post-conflict reconstruction process. Playing an important role in the reconstruction are religious leaders, who have a great deal of influence in Sri Lankan society. On an intermittent basis since 2005, SPF has conducted a project promoting dialogue as well as providing capacity building among the Sri Lankan religious leaders. With the conflict now at an end, it is necessary to assist integrated development of the country. There is a need to nurture the next generation of leaders active at the community level and to make an appeal for peace building to the community in order to stablilize the situation in Sri Lanka in the long term.

The project aims to build active inter-religious clergy network by establishing community organization of religious leaders (Religious Action Alliance) in 11 districts of North East Sri Lanka. The 11 districts are categorized into three levels according to the progress situation. Those community organizations will subsequently train young leaders, with whom they later carry out community activities. Through these various activities, SPF aims to allow reconstruction efforts by religious leaders to take root in Northeast Sri Lanka.
Implementation Plan
In the first year of the three-year project, the following activities will be carried out.
  • Expansion of the community organization of religious leaders. (Phase I District: five districts)
    • Mapping of senior leaders: selection of religious leaders in five districts.
    • Orientation of Senior Leaders
    • Workshops for Senior Leaders: training in conflict management, methods of communication for non-violence
  • Capacity building for young leaders (PhaseⅡDistricts: three districts)
    • Orientation and workshop for young leaders: training in planning practical activities
    • Follow-up training for young leaders: training in reporting and activity evaluation
  • Community activities (Mainly Phase Ⅲ Districts: three districts where practical activities are feasible)
    • District-level Civil Society Committee: Establish a committee and solicit ideas for community activities.
    • Civil action activity support: Provide support for community activities after screening the proposed activities and examining competency of those concerned to manage the proposed activities. The activities will be reviewed after completion.
  • Building networks between religious leaders: In order to plan and conduct networking activities, the following activities will be carried out.
    (1) National coordination (2) National Planning meetings (3) Islander civil society network festival (4) Network database construction
Project Results
This project seeks to help build a lasting peace in northeastern Sri Lanka, which has been embroiled in a protracted civil war, with the help of the religious leaders, who have considerable social influence in the country. This year, the project newly identified 100 senior religious leaders engaged in social contribution activities in northeastern Sri Lanka, selected 24 promising young religious leaders, and conducted an orientation to provide opportunities for interfaith exchange. In addition, community programs were publicly solicited, and 10 were chosen and put into practice that were designed to help rebuild bridges between local ethnic and religious groups that had been severed by civil war.

Implementing Agency Sewalanka Foundation (Sri Lanka) Year Implementation year(1/3)
Project Type Self OperatedGrantCommissionedOther Year project budget implementation 10,037,817yen