Category: Sri Lanka

2019: A year in peacebuilding

Looking back at 2019, I am continually impressed by the courage, commitment, and resilience of our partners and thousands of local peacebuilders around the world. As war and violence raged in many places, local people on the frontlines of conflict have saved lives, interrupted cycles of violence, and strengthened the foundations for lasting peace in their societies.

Overall in 2019, Peace Direct supported local peacebuilders in 12 countries to stop violent conflict. Our partners set up local Peace Courts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, helped children traumatized by Syria’s war and trained Filipino women in conflict resolution, among many other projects.

As the end of the year approaches, we take a moment to look back at some of the key moments in our work and the lives of our partners.

“The beginning of all things are small”: My visit to the United Nations

Dishani Senaratne is a peacebuilder from Sri Lanka. After participating in an online consultation on the topic of youth and peacebuilding, she was invited to attend a series of events at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York in July. We spoke to Dishani about her experience, and what she gained from the visit.

Sri Lanka: a month on

The horrific bombings that shook Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday are no longer newsworthy. The world’s attention has shifted elsewhere, and yet people across the country are still seeking answers to the events that took place a month ago.

Supporting Sri Lanka

On Easter Sunday, Sri Lanka was rocked by a series of bombings that killed more than 250 people at churches and hotels, the worst violence the country has seen in a decade. Our CEO Dylan Mathews shares his own reactions to the attacks and what this means for peacebuilders in the country.

Kaushalya’s story: “I now have a network I can rely on”

Kaushayla’s husband disappeared during the 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka. To this day he has not returned. But through a network of women all similarly affected by the war, Kaushayla has found a network of people she can connect with. Now she helps run local projects supporting women to run their own small businesses.

Healing the scars of war in Sri Lanka

“Their hearts are broken because of the war. It is my job to heal them.”

– Buddhist religious leader who works to rebuild trust between Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists following years of civil war and violence in Sri Lanka.

Prestigious peace prize goes to our partners in Sri Lanka

We are delighted to announce that our partners in Sri Lanka, the Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation (CPBR), have been awarded the prestigious Niwano Peace Prize. It is the first time in ten years that the award has been given to an organisation, rather than an individual, and is testament to the power of local peacebuilding.

Celebrating women voices for peace

Sunday 8 March 2015 is International Women’s Day. Women in conflict is a topic that gets much attention – often for the disproportionate effects that war, violence and conflict have on women as victims. But this is not the only story. While it is true that women are often disproportionately affected by conflict, they are also some of the most powerful voices for peace.

Defusing tensions and promoting peace in Sri Lanka

This month’s surprise election result in Sri Lanka highlights the crucial need for peacebuilding in this post-war country. Commentators warn of the potential for instability as incoming President Maithripala Sirisena seeks to lead a mixed coalition of ethnic, religious and ideological parties. A peaceful transfer of power is crucial, to avoid a recurrence of the tensions that have caused civil war in the past. Our local partners CPBR have worked for a decade to defuse tensions between religious and ethnic groups on the island and to promote peace between the diverse Sri Lanka communities.

Through the lens of peace

This month at Peace Direct we would like to say a big thank you to all our supporters who raised a fantastic £7,105 for the Voice of Image project. This important project empowers young people to use photography to rebuild understanding between communities in post-war Sri Lanka.