- ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
Centre for Policy Alternatives has been of the strong belief that if Sri Lanka is to move from a post-war to post-conflict situation – that is one in which the sources of conflict are not sustained or reproduced and reconciliation achieved– addressing the language issue is of paramount importance. Language is at the heart of the ethnic conflict and therefore addressing the language issue will have great symbolic and more importantly practical significance for the peoples of Sri Lanka. It is fundamental and the resources involved far outweigh the benefits that would accrue short, medium and long –term in restoring trust and confidence in full citizenship for all and genuine respect, trust and confidence amongst them.
CPA’s Language Programme seeks to make a difference in this respect. It involves citizens in the fulfillment of their constitutional rights and thereby speaks to their duties as well, as citizens and their responsibility for securing those rights.
CPA records its appreciation of the cooperation provided to it in the implementation of this programme from the state sector and urges that the issue receives the policy prioritization and requisite resources it deserves. The ultimate objective after all is to embed language rights in the institutions and processes of governance and government, as well as in the popular culture to the point at which it no longer requires special mention and attention as a source of conflict, diminished citizenship and/or feelings of marginalization.
We believe we have made some inroads as a programme; we believe that there is still a longer journey that must be made as a country determined to achieve its full potential.
Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Centre for Policy Alternatives
- PROGRAMME IMPACT
The project created legal precedent supporting language equality, lodged cases and complaints towards implementation of provisions of the Official Languages Policy, the Official Languages Act and the Constitution, created awareness on the relevance of LR, reached large numbers of public officials and engendered attitude change towards protecting LR. The PLRM project also empowered and united groups of citizens giving them awareness of their language rights, and demonstrating recourse methods in support of them, through a mechanism called Language Societies; The project established 300+ Language Societies with a membership of 7600+ persons.
Further achievements of the project include:
· Two Fundamental Rights cases won in support of Language Equality
· 340 cases each submitted to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and to the Official languages Commission
· 70+ media articles commissioned
· 2200+ actual instances of change brought about
· 5000+ government officials reached through the programme
· a comprehensive Language Audit of project areas carried out for the first time by an independent entity.
At the end of the PLRM phase 4, it was recognized that language societies would be stronger if they worked in tandem with the other voluntary societies at a village level, thereby also promoting language equality as a cross cutting value, in the mandates of such institutions.
- LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON LANGUAGE RIGHTS
- INSTITUTIONS PROTECTING LANGUAGE RIGHTS
- CPA PUBLICATIONS ON LANGUAGE RIGHTS
Vibhasha, a bi monthly project newsletter in all three languages, targeting stakeholders in general including schools, public libraries, pirivenas, ministry personnel, civil society organizations, Language Society members and all on CPAs contact lists, was printed for the purpose of collecting and disseminating language and reconciliation related matters. More than 60,000 copies were distributed in all.
Feedback in the form of email, letters, filled questionnaires, etc was received from readers of the Vibhasha periodical on Language Issues, demonstrating increased public awareness and support of Language Equality.
The project Increased awareness and respect for language rights among target groups, via publications including the Trilingual newsletter, 5 pamphlets, 2 reader friendly guides/ translations, nearly 40 newspaper articles, and the final brief on policy recommendations on the implementation of language policy in Sri Lanka.
1550 copies of a Guideline on Official Language Policy and its related Laws (Rajya Baasha Prathipatti Ha Eh Ha SambandaNeethiya) was printed in Sinhala and 1550 copies in Tamil. These were distributed to trainers and for Language Society leaders and language officers. Ministry officials and a number of relevant parties have made further requests for more copies. This publication better facilitated ease of audience with government officials.
Working to complement the recently set up complaints hotline of the Ministry of National languages and Social Integration, the CPA project also installed more than 45 billboards giving publicity to the 1956 hotline, and is due to launch a Trilingual Common Signage CD which will have more than a 1000 words in all three languages in printable formats, for use in all manner of private and public sector offices and commercial outlets.
Recent Bilingual Publications
- Guideline on Official Language Policy and its related Laws
- Tamil Language Rights in Sri Lanka (by Dr Devanesnan Nesiah)
- Language and Humanity (by Attorney at Law S.G. Punchihewa)
- Vibhasha Newsletter Issues 1-14
- Guidebook on the LLRC Report
- An Opinion Survey on the LLRC Report
- WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROMOTE LANGUAGE EQUALITY
- PRESS ARTICLES ON THE LANGUAGE ISSUE IN SRI LANKA
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ABOUT OUTREACH UNIT
Background to CPAs Outreach Programme
CPAs Outreach Unit officially commenced operations with the Awareness Raising on Local Governance Programme beginning January 2007. However, the same core team members have been working in CPA’s Peace and Conflict Analysis Unit, for almost five years before this.
Outreach Unit strives to increase awareness in and understanding of, and ideally belief in, the fundamental convictions held by CPA on peace, democracy and good governance, among the Public and particularly rural stakeholders of our projects with a particular emphasis on youth and women’s’ groups.
Complementing CPA-initiated interventions by spreading awareness among citizens to facilitate an informed public dialogue on relevant issues towards an overall goal of peace, democracy and good governance.
In general its activities include:
- Awareness Raising Workshops, for Youth, Provincial Council members, Secretaries and LA Officials, Representatives and Community Leaders
- Production and Distribution of Periodical and One off Publications
- Creation and maintaining of strategic networks eg CSO, NGOs, Schools and University contacts, Provincial Council and Local Authority contacts as well as encouraging them to maintain inter community linkages with each other
- Functioning as a communication intermediary between rural stakeholders and central policy and decision makers.
Our Fields of Expertise
Outreach Staff benefit from an equitable ethnic and gender balance, diverse backgrounds, and a flexible and modern management approach.
The Unit has the advantage of infrastructure support and co operation from CPA’s other units as well as the widespread recognition of CPA’s name and the Unit’s outreach work on the field. Among its major strengths is a base of trained, experienced & dedicated staff, resource personnel and a contact base of consultants who are established experts in the relevant areas.
Through CPA a solid donor base of financial and resource support has been established and stable INGO linkages maintained which help in the drawing of expertise and information.
The Unit has an extensive network of contacts among NPOs/ CBOs / youth /LA contacts maintain valuable two way communication channels through CPA between policy making and provincial stakeholder levels.
A growing national debate on the Federal concept & devolution of power, and the recognition that CPA is at the forefront of related advocacy /research gives the Unit many opportunities to make a worthwhile impact on same, at a provincial level.
Outreach Units emphasis on promoting increased inter-ethnic sensitivity and tolerance among student program participants and CPA’s established reputation as an authority in the areas of governance /conflict resolution/ minority rights / devolution of Power etc make Outreach Unit too regular point of reference for youthful academics and students of all universities locally who wish to take their studies to more detailed depths
In the course of the last five years, programmes initiated by Outreach Unit have resulted in the building up of substantial contact networks in the Rural areas as well as in Policy Formulation spheres. For example the recent Inter University and Inter Community Student Exchange Programmes and the Programme on Good Governance in Local Authorities , led to very useful communication channels built between the Unit and
- Ministries : SL Ministry of Education and Ministry of Local Governance in particular
- University Lecturers & Academics from all major Universities in the country
- Education Personnel from 60 Schools island-wide.
- Community Based Organisations (a base of at least 2000 organisations have worked directly with us) – Youth, Women’s, Farmers, Trade Unions etc
- Provincial Journalists Organisations and Media representatives.(with CPA’s Media Unit)
- Local Authority personnel, Representatives, Officials etc of all levels
Partner Civil Society Organisations involved in the same fields.(approx 40)
Periodical Outreach Unit Publications such as Peace Monitor reach up to 25,000 libraries in Schools, Privenas, Churches and Media Institutions around the country and are an excellent forum for communication to all areas reached.
Some Projects by Outreach CPA
- Promoting Language Rights of Minorities 2011-2015
- Project on Safeguarding Civil Rights of Plantation Sector Workers, 2013
- Citizen Dialogue on LLRC 2012
- Awareness Raising on Local Governance TALG
- Inter Community Student Exchange
- Inter University Debate Series
- Documentary on the Ethnic Conflict
- Provincial Needs Assessment 2008
- Study of the Eastern Provincial Council – FNST 2009-2010
- Publication: Devolution in the Eastern Province: Implementation of the 13th Amendment and
- A Study to Facilitate Effective Statute formulation in Provincial Councils – FES
- Study of the Eastern provincial Council, 2009-2010
- Rural Education Assistance Programme,2009-2012
- People’s Rights of Minority Groups-Newspaper article series 2010
- Awareness Raising on Federalism
- Project title – Promoting Language Rights of Minorities (PLRM)Locations – 15 Districts in the North, East, Central, and Uva ProvincesTarget groups – general public, private and public institutions, public officersTimeline – 2011-ongoingDescription – In 2011, CPA launched a campaign to promote language rights of minorities in Sri Lanka, in accordance with the recommendations set forth by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report that emphasised the benefit of the Official Languages Policy (OLP) which gave equal prominence to both Sinhala and Tamil as the official languages of Sri Lanka. For four years, CPA through the PLRM project conducted sensitisation programmes of government/public officers, and the general public on the content of the OLP and its importance. It also pursued public interest litigation in the form of filing complaints to the Human Rights Commission and Official Languages Commission when the OLP had been infringed upon.As a main product of the PLRM project, CPA conducted Training of Trainers sessions every year; representatives from regional partner organizations were selected and given training by CPA staff (provincial coordinators, legal experts, and Senior Researcher) on the OLP and how one can pursue a complaint with local authorities, the police, or the Human Rights Commission. They in turn were contracted and given the responsibility of creating Language Societies (LCs) in the 15 Districts of activity. LCs were made up of village activists, that advocated for language equality in their regions. As a result of this venture, 150+ LCs were created in all 15 Districts, and nearly 2000+ changes were made overall (such as changing of name boards to trilingual signage, requesting for official forms in both official languages, requesting police stations to enlist officers proficient in both Sinhala and Tamil etc.).
- Project on Safeguarding Civil Rights of Plantation Sector Workers, 2013Their hard labour powers the multimillion dollar industry that is Sri Lankan tea. But the estate sector workers of Badulla district are still some of the poorest, most marginalised people in Sri Lanka. Fostered by a system that does not want to let go its hold on cheap labour, conditions in the estate sector of the Uva Province have remained almost unchanged by recent post war development drives. Exemplifying the administrative neglect of these communities is the fact that many plantation sector workers have never had a permanent contact address to their name.Many rooms are not numbered and letters are often delivered to other people with the same name. Whether a person receives a letter depends on the integrity of the kankami( worker assigned to distribute these) the good will of his neighbours , often sorely lacking, and sometimes sheer chance…The lack of National Identity cards among some workers, another problem addressed by the project, leads to a number of serious issues, eg. limited freedom of movement, difficulty in making transactions, vulnerability in civil and criminal cases, lack of security, complications in obtaining official documentation and finding employment etcThe Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) along with a local partner Uva Shakthi Foundation, has worked on a pilot project in Passara ,Badulla(Uva Province) aimed at bringing a modicum of dignity into the lives of this marginalized community whose human rights have been routinely denied. In the last six months this project has arranged to provide permanent addresses, for the first time ever in the plantation sector, for 3000 families of estate workers. The project also organized setting up secure mail collection boxes in 20 localities, selecting road names and providing signage for 40 of the estate by-roads in the area, in an endeavor to safeguard the delivery of correspondence.Mobile clinics were hosted to speed up the application process for more than 300 National Identity Cards, which may otherwise reach owners late or never. The latter is particularly relevant to a large number of students who are due to sit for exams shortly.
The right to safely receive one’s correspondence, taken for granted in the rest of the country but fraught with difficulty in this area, can make the difference between receiving a rare university admission, a job in Colombo, a desperately needed remittance from a relative abroad…or not. In the lives of estate worker communities such rare opportunities may come only once or twice in a lifetime and be the difference between hope and a life of regrets
- Sharing Experiences from the islandwide Citizen Dialogue on the LLRCThe Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has taken a lead in monitoring the levels of public awareness of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the implementation of its recommendations. CPA has monitored the proceedings of LLRC and disseminated information to the public through its websites critically analysing shortcomings in the process.We issued a comprehensive statement on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC, no sooner it was published, and advocated the implementation of its recommendations. Furthermore, CPA was the first institution in Sri Lanka to issue a translation of Chapter 9 (Recommendations) of the LLRC Report in Sinhala and Tamil in May 2012 and a report on the benchmarks for peace and reconciliation in post war Sri Lanka. We also successfully implemented a project promoting Citizen Dialogue on the LLRC, raising awareness of its recommendations and their importance for the process of conflict transformation in Sri Lanka.One of the significant outcomes of this project was that both the original Commission report and the Action Plan for the Implementation of its recommendations were simplified and made available to more than one hundred and thirty thousand citizens, through publications, mail shot, electronic mail and dialogues held in Sinhala and Tamil at 1033 meetings, facilitated by 47 regional trainers island-wide.
Reports from the media conference held today sharing experiences from the island-wide discussions as well as the findings of the survey of witnesses who testified before the LLRC, are available for download (as PDFs) from the CPA website in English, Sinhala and Tamil.You can also read the reports online (in your browser) in English, Sinhala and Tamil.
- Transparent Accountable Local GovernanceThis project involves interaction with Local Authorities from all parts of the island including 11 from the North and East. The objective was to improve co ordination and cooperation between different tiers of LA personnel and Civil Society; and increasing people’s participation in Local Governance by emphasis on Transparency and Accountability. This was reached by carrying out
- Meetings with relevant personnel in Local Authorities, including Representatives/officials
- meetings with leaders of Civil Society organizations and Community Based Organizations
- Combined meetings with three tiers of leaders
- Sensitization on Good governance and the requirement for Transparency/ Accountability
- Discussion of Past Experiences / Formulation of Joint Action Plans with participation of both Officials and Representatives and setting of Goals and Responsible officials
- Implementation of Action Plans
- Publications on Local Governance / Guidebook /Good Governance Newsletters etc
- Subsidiary matters such as setting down required By-Laws
- Monitoring and Evaluation
a total of approximately 200 1 day Meetings with CSOs and CBOs were held around the country and, 10 3 day meetings for Representatives and Officials, and 20 Joint Combined Meetings for both Officials and Civil Society leaders resulting in raised awareness on the requirement for incorporation of Good Governance in the work of Local Authorities as well as the methods for same.
Following on the experience from the TALG programme, Outreach Unit also provided training on behalf of People in Need(PIN) in partnership with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) for participants from Kinnya Pradeshya Sabha and Urban Council.
- Inter Community Student ExchangesThis project was set up with the objective of promoting inter -communal tolerance, appreciation of diversity & “peace culture” among teachers, and ordinary and advanced level students in schools island-wide. In fulfilment of the broad objective of the programme which is to foster inter-community friendship and understanding among the younger generation, activities such as philosophical debates, joint art and culture programmes and a periodical inter -school newsletter have been planned.Feedback from the 2005 and then the 2006 Student Exchange Series has been extremely heartening and shows a change in attitudes from those held at the start of the programme. Of the Students interviewed, almost 90 % said they have never had a friend from another ethnicity and that sharing their backgrounds with their new friends has been very educational, definitely an eye-opener which changed ingrained attitudes significantly.For example Sinhala youth who had grown to believe that “all Tamils were terrorist Tigers” or Tamil speaking youngsters who previously believed “all Sinhala were violent killers like Army Soldiers” were significantly impressed to realize that young people of the other ethnicity were compassionate, understanding, and tolerant human beings like themselves and that the only differences were perhaps linguistic and cultural ones which far from being a threat, added to the richness and diversity of the Nation. The youngsters’ natural predisposition towards inter cultural empathy was thus further cultivated by this unforgettable experience. Their efforts in the areas of writing and poetry for the Newsletter, for example, reflect an increased sensitivity towards multicultural tolerance while leading to more innovative ideas and suggestions for ways to build and sustain peace.Coverage of the events has been broadcast on State television and printed in major Daily and Sunday newspapers in Sri Lanka.The project to 2006 December involved 45 schools in 15 districts. http://cpalanka.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/1/Arunodayaprintfile_Eng.pdf
- Provincial Needs Assessment 2008Outreach Unit worked on two parallel programmes on the theme of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Provincial Councils and Devolution of Power, during the period March –May 2008. This programme was supported by Development Alternatives Inc through USAID,A preliminary round of One Day Regional Meetings was held at each of the Provincial Council auditoriums with the attendance of the Chairman, Chief Ministers, Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretaries and when possible of the Governor, with the purpose of outlining the concept of this programme, garnering support and participation of Provincial Council officials, and clarifying logistics for the proposed residential workshops.Participant suggestions were gathered on the areas to be addressed at the planned workshops. This was followed by a series of in depth Three Day Regional Workshops on Strengthening the Provincial Council Process.Resource persons included Rohan Edrisinha, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, ColomboUniversity and Head of the Legal and Constitutional Unit; S.G Punchihewa, Attorney-at-Law, National Trainer and Author; Ashoka Gunewardena, Chairman, Finance Commission, among others.
The residential workshops aimed to collect and document suggestions and experiences, success stories and challenges faced by participant Provincial Council personnel which would contribute to a final set of recommendations towards Provincial Council Reform.
The final report based on a set of recommendations reached at these workshops were published and presented to all concerned at the National Conference on Provincial Councils held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference hall (BMICH) on the 28th May 2008.
- Inter University Debate SeriesThis project involves interaction with Lecturers and university students, intellectuals and the interested public, and encourages the participation of young academics, who are the future decision makers, in open debate in the selected subject areas. The objectives are to provide a forum for discussion on possible alternatives leading to a sustainable peace in Sri Lanka.The first debate series was held in 2005 and a total of 400 students participated. The 2007 project of the same nature involved 4 debates among students of Sociology, Political Science, Economics and Mass Communications which brought the total number of debates sessions to eight and a total of 1000 students participated.This has been the first time in Sri Lanka that a meeting of Students was facilitated in each of these subject majors. The organisers believe that this is an important step in ensuring that future policy makers of Sri Lanka are further sensitized to values of democracy, human rights and tolerance of diversity. As in the Student Exchange this programme too facilitated the forming and continuation of inter ethnic understanding and friendships among the participants. Databases of participant contact information are maintained with organizers for follow up purposes. A compilation of Group work in the form of Student Essays on a Research topic in each subject area has been collected and will be published on a website set up for this project.
- Documentary on the Ethnic ConflictThis Documentary is intended to be used as resource material in future workshops on conflict resolution studies and as a reference for international partners in the field of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies. In a ground breaking collaboration between some of the country’s leading Creative professionals and expert academics in Conflict Studies, ably complimented by consultative advice from leading media and civil society personalities, this is compelling use of the documentary media, focusing on the ethnic problem to bring the cause in question to the attention of the viewer.Two premier Sri Lankan artists will use this media– in all three languages – to produce a brief and easily understandable chronology of events leading to, and an analysis of, the current conflict situation. The film is to be scripted so as to awaken sympathetic attention to the situation by a society of people who tolerate diversity and help mediate to bring out a political solution. The concept of Federalism is to be incorporated in to the proposed solution.
- Study of the Eastern Provincial Council – FNSTThe Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) carried out a comprehensive study on the 13th Amendment and power devolution in Sri Lanka, with special reference to the experience of the Eastern Provincial Council. This study analyzes, with quantitative and qualitative illustrations, the legal and constitutional implications of the 13th Amendment and its operation through the Eastern Provincial Council. In addition, the study also presents opinions and perspectives on the functioning of the Eastern Provincial Council gathered from the general public as well from newly elected Provincial Councilors and Officials.This trilingual publication was launched with the participation of Provincial Councilors, Officials, Civil Society Leaders and Academics. Rohan Edrisinha and V.T. Thamilmaran, Senior Lecturers, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, spoke on this occasion.Publication: Devolution in the Eastern Province: Implementation of the 13th Amendment and Public Perceptions 2008-2010Asanga Welikala & Lionel Guruge , Centre for Policy AlternativesLaunch Date Sept 21st 2010
This study expands on a report published in 2008 on Strengthening the Provincial Council System –
Part 1 provides a legal and constitutional analysis of provincial devolution with reference to the Eastern Provincial Council , and Part 2 analyses the views and perspectives of elected officials, bureaucracy and the public of the Province, on their experience of devolution.
English, Sinhala and Tamil editions of the publication are available from CPA as well as the respective E Copies
- A Study to Facilitate Effective Statute formulation in Provincial Councils – FESThe aim of this study was to evaluate the current status of statue formulation in the Provincial Councils and increase understanding of the subject among relevant stakeholders.A resource base of all past statutes, draft and planned statutes also resulted from this research exercise.As part of this Study Outreach Unit visited all Provincial Councils and met many of the responsible councilors and officers including Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries. Discussions series were conducted with key persons involved in the statute drafting process. Some of the topics discussed included challenges faced in attempts at Statute formulation, the possibility of networking with other PCs on this issue of mutual concern and areas which ideally should be addressed through redrafted legislation.Members of Legal Committees of PCs contributed ideas and suggestions regarding the statute drafting process in PCs. One crucial observation was that most of the Provincial Councils cannot function within their given scope largely due to lack of appropriate statutes.Provincial decision makers and relevant provincial State actors in 8 Provincial Councils, (except for the Northern Province) were engaged for discussion of the findings of the proposed study. Of special note was that as a result of this programme, resources and relevant documentation such as statutes, statute making guidelines were exchanged between PCs. Discrepancies between PCs were also highlighted. The Western Provincial Council, for example has drafted over 60 statutes while the Uva Provincial Council had drafted only 30 statutes. The reasons for this situation included the lack of human resources and experienced personnel, negative official attitudes, and the resistance of certain government agencies. A final report was presented at the end of this programme.
- Study of the Eastern provincial Council, 2009-2010From late 2009 to mid 2010, Outreach Unit, with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), conducted a Comprehensive study on the thirteenth amendment and power devolution in Sri Lanka, with special reference to the experience of the newly elected Eastern Provincial Council. This study analysed, with quantitative & qualitative illustrations, the legal and the constitutional implications of the thirteenth amendment and its effect as seen in the case of the Eastern provincial council. In addition the study also presented opinions and perspectives on the functioning of the provincial council gathered first-hand among the general public as well as from newly elected provincial councillors and officials in the Eastern provincial council. This study effectively summarises the unique challenges and complexities of developing and restructuring the eastern provincial council system within a post – war setting.150 Government officers working under the Provincial Public Service Commission were interviewed and 72 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) (24 per District) were carried out by Outreach for this particular programme. Additionally 30 Provincial Councillors including members of the Board of Ministers, out of 36 provincial councillors of EPC and key officers of the EPC including Secretaries of the ministries, were consulted.At the end of the programme a trilingual publication was produced in two parts
- Part I, titled Devolution within the Unitary State: A Constitutional Assessment of the Thirteenth Amendment with reference to the experience in the Eastern Province, by Asanga Welikala of CPA’s Legal & Constitutional Unit, is a legal and constitutional assessment of the structural framework of the Thirteenth Amendment and its animating practices through a focus on the concrete experience of the Eastern Provincial Council. It is a textual consideration of the applicable laws and constitutional provisions, and their judicial and administrative interpretation over time, as well as a political appraisal of practices and patterns of behavior of the relevant institutional actors. This analysis constitutes the basis for certain recommendations for changes in the statutory framework and administrative practice so as to enhance devolution within the parameters of the Thirteenth Amendment.
- Part II of the study, entitled Assessment of a Newly Elected Council at Work: A Top Line Survey, is an examination using a combination of survey methods, of perceptions and attitudes to the structures and practices of devolution on the part of elected and administrative officials of the Eastern Provincial Council, and the general public of the Eastern Province Respondents were asked questions on democracy, function of the newly elected provincial council, reconciliation and the post war situation in addition to questions on provincial councils, land issues and minorities. The survey was conducted in the districts of Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee .
- Rural Education Assistance Programme,2009-2012The Rural Education Assistant programme was funded by Sahaya Foundation USA, towards assisting in the provision of equitable access to education for some of the poorest children of Sri Lanka, the children of Estate workers in plantation sectors. Administered by its local partner the Centre for Policy Alternatives this programme provides small scale scholarships taking in to account students performance in the face of very difficult circumstances.A number of schools which had been involved with CPA in the previous inter community exchange programme 2006/7 were selected. The Scholarship recipient nominated by the principal and Advanced level teachers on the specific subjects currently followed by students, in each school, were interviewed following which representatives of CPA visited their homes, researched their family back ground, and further assessed their suitability. This programme comprises two phases and continues to 2011.
- People’s Rights of Minority Groups-Newspaper article seriesAs part of a project implemented with the Minority Rights Group, CPA conducted research into the living conditions and human rights situation of selected minority groups from diverse regions of the country. Resulting content fed into a series of 13 articles subsequently published in mainstream Sinhala weekend newspapers(Sunday Divaina & Lankadeepa).From 22nd July to end of December the Outreach Unit visited eight different areas including Jaffna and Panama for the purpose of this research . It was the first time that a series of articles on issues regarding vulnerable /marginalized communities in Sri Lanka was published in these newspapers which reach a combined audience of more than 8 million readers island -wide. Translation of the articles was also initiated to further disseminate this research to CPA’s on line contacts through a website PeoplesRights.lk. More information obtained in below tablePublished articles in National Newspapers 2010Newspaper & Date of Published Name of Articles Research Venues & Dates Links to Articles (
Sunday Divaina Newspaper on 08th August 2010 An article was published titled“The unending hunger of our indigenous peoples” (kisi dineka noniwena ape adi waseenge sudaha ginna) Dambana,Pollebeddha,and Rathugala areas in Uva Province http://tinyurl.com/6k6nfn4Sunday Lankadeepa Newspaper on15th August 2010 An article was published titled “ The Thelingu People who lost we life with traveling” (Sancharayua samaga jeewitha ahimi u theligu janaya) Thambuththegama area in Anuradhapura District and Aligambe area in Ampara District http://tinyurl.com/6fqe4hfSunday Lankadeepa newspaper on 22nd August 2010. An article was published titled“ The non Black lives of makers of Black pots” (kalu walan hadana kalu nou jeewitha) Nochchiyagama area in Anuradhapura District http://tinyurl.com/44bpcx9
Sunday Lankadeepa Newspaper on 29th August 2010 An article was published titled “Sekkuptiya wafts the Fragrance of Oil” (thalathel suwada hamana sekkupitiya). Kekirawa area in Anuradhapura District http://tinyurl.com/437djb8
Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper on 05th September 2010 An article was published titled “Unending hunger of indigenous people of Ceylon” (Lankawe adee waseenge noniwena ginna). Monaragala,Badulla and Ampara Districts http://tinyurl.com/3f6g6a9
Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper on 12th September 2010 An article published titled “the African Sinhalese living in Sri Lanka -suffering for their lost heritage”. Sirambiadi area in Puttlam District http://tinyurl.com/3bu5sz2
Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper on 26th September 2010 An article was published titled “Twice Displaced Muslim people from Jaffna” (Deweni wathawatath awaten u yapanayen aa muslim janathawa ). Municipality area in Jaffna District http://tinyurl.com/3frg5n8
Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper on 03rd 0ctober 2010 An article was published titled “Muhudu Wedi “People Who Lost Their Mother Tongue” (Mau basa ahimi muhudu wadi janaya). Vahare area in Batticaloa District http://tinyurl.com/3fz353z
Sunday Lankadeepa Newspaper on 10th october 2010 An article was published titled “panampaththuwe Sinhala demala Nayo” Pothuvil – Lahugala area in Ampara http://tinyurl.com/3ftqp8n
Sunday Lankadeepa Newspaper on 17th October 2010 An article was published titled “Sampur bimen udura purches wissaka pala kireema” Muttur area in Trincomalee District http://tinyurl.com/3d56x33
Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper on 24th October 2010 Ranmasu Samaga Kandulu Genena Rata Rakiya Kurunegala District http://tinyurl.com/3laf439
Sunday Lankadeepa Newspaper on 31st October 2010 Dakune Wathu Pasal Walata Nidahas Adyapanaya Ahimida. Matara & Galle Districts http://tinyurl.com/4x5g5le
Sunday lankadeepa Newspaper on 07th November 2010 Matale Wathu kamkaruwo Kabalen Lipata Matale District http://tinyurl.com/3huno5r
15) Project title – Awareness Raising on Federalism (ARF)
Locations – Island wide
Target groups – general public, religious leaders, CBO members
Timeline – Aug 2005 – Nov 2005
Description – The main objective here is creating an awareness and understanding of the concept of federalism among the local communities. Training of 20 Trainers was carried out in Aug 2005 and 147 district wise workshops held to educate people on application of the Federal concept and clarify erroneous interpretations of the concept, putting it across as a feasible solution to the ethnic problem: a method for a peaceful negotiate a solution. Participants were selected from a base of CBO members, teachers, religious leaders, student leaders, & community leaders who have expressed their interest. The final symposium “the Future of Sri Lanka and the Federal Idea” was held on the 6th February 2006 at the BMICH, Colombo and saw an attendance of over a thousand participants from all over the island. Of note was the fact that this was the largest ever such gathering in the country discussing the theme of a Federal Solution. The Programme to 2006 involved a total of 40 Trainers and a planned 320 workshops Island wide. For 2007 we hope to be able to train a further 60 Trainers and through 800 further workshops bring the total number involved to 20,000. This will be in 100 selected Divisional Secretariats. The figures for 2008 are planned to expand to 200 trainers and final involvement of a total of 40,000 persons.
• Introducing communities to the concept of Federalism,
• Educating people on its applications, and clarification of erroneous interpretations of the concept, through 144 Awareness Raising Workshops conducted in conjunction with grassroots partner organisations.
• Putting federalism across as a feasible solution to the ethnic problem: a method for a peaceful negotiated solution.
• Creating a “Federalism sensitive” community, through dialogue and debate
• Comparative analysis of the applications of these principles in international situations- for e.g.- demonstration of the workings of Federal solutions to such problems in other countries. Emphasizing the historical adaptability of this idea to localised situations.
• Explanation of the dynamism of this concept according to the requirements of different peoples, in varied backgrounds.
• Creating an awareness and understanding of the concept among the local communities with the objective of finally building up a “federal society”
Outreach Unit Publications
1. Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Problem and its Solutions ( 3 languages)
2. The Federal Idea (3 Languages)
3. Emergency Law and the Parliament (Sinhala)
4. Perderal Wadaya (Translation of the Periodical titled Federations by Forum of Federations)
5. Judgement in the Krishanthi Coomaraswamy Case ( 3 languages)
6. The Ethnic Conflict and the Responsibilities of Ethnic Minorities(Sinhala and Tamil)
7. Devolution of Power ( 3 languages)
8. Commentary :Structure and Process of Negotiations ( 3 languages)
9. Tsunami : Alternative Proposals in Rehabilitation ( 3 languages)
10. Evolution of the Federal Concept in Sri Lanka ( 3 languages)
11. Buddhism and Conflict Resolution
12. “Local Governance” by S.G.Punchihewa, Attorney At Law. The legal descriptions and definitions of local authorities as applicable in Sri Lanka. Categories of L As, their powers, by‐laws, taxes and revenue generation, assessment of properties, interim legislations etc are discussed in detail. (Sinhala and Tamil Language)
13. “Regional Government & Roles and Responsibilities of their Representatives”by S.G.Punchihewa, Attorney At Law. Covering the internal workings of local authorities including committee members, duties and responsibilities of chairperson and others, committee system in the Local Authorities, committees in UCs, MCs etc. (Sinhala and Tamil Language)
14. “Local Government Institutions” by Upul Abeyrathne, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Political Science, University of Ruhuna. Somewhat similar in organization of topics in the booklet “Local Governance” by S.G.Punchihewa, this booklet describes in detail the internal procedures and structure as well as interconnections that lie within Local Authorities. (Sinhala and Tamil Language)
15. “Regional Governance, Aims, Origin and Procedures” Dhamma Dissanayake, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Colombo. The goals of L As are described through 26 descriptions and offers a brief comparative L A systems in other countries such as Australia, India etc. (Sinhala and Tamil Language)
16. “Local Governance and your right to information” Sunanda Deshapriya, Journalist and Convener Free Media Movement. The importance of L As in peoples lives are stressed along with the vital “Right to Information” of citizens. (Sinhala and Tamil Language)
17. “Creating a transparent local government body without corruption and malpractice” Jagath Liyanarachchi, Attorney at Law. Explaining practical methods to keep Members and officials’ corruption in check. (Sinhala and Tamil Language)