National Integration and Reconciliation Week

National Integration Week would be celebrated from January 8 to 14 every year following Cabinet approval.

The dates coincide with the week in which President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation assumed office.

"The Main aim of this initiative is to promote unity, peace, affection, and brotherhood among communities of different ethnic, religious, cultural and regional diversities. This is a nation building effort that lays the foundation for a united, strong, reconciled and prosperous nation which recognizes Unity in Diversity", Secretary Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation V. Sivagnanasothy said.

The National Integration and Reconciliation week, he noted, would conduct the following programmes countrywide.


* Promote national integration among school children


The programme includes speeches by students on national integration in the school assembly in all schools and in the classrooms during the national week expressing the importance of national integration.


* Sensitization and awareness


Create sensitization and awareness in all three languages through print, electronic and social media on the importance of national integration to the general public.


* Encourage Private sector involvement in integration programmes


Involve the private and corporate sector to undertake suitable integration programmes as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.


* North South Dialogue and Inter-Village Exchange Programmes


Promote and undertake North South Dialogue and inter-village Exchange Programmes focusing on community leaders to share, learn, experience and understand the cultural diversities.


* Competition to promote national integration


Promote exhibitions and conduct competitions on essays, art, cartoon, poems and short stories on national integration. Conduct orientation on integration to Daham Pasal teachers to serve as "Change Agents" to advocate and disseminate the importance of national integration and reconciliation among children.

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 emphasizes on "peace building" as an important theme to make the world the happiest place to live. In that context National Integration Week was an important intervention to sensitize and make a change in the mindset of the people towards building peace, harmony, unity and brotherhood among communities, which was vital for sustainable development, Sivagnanasothy said. (ZJ)


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