Saturday, April 3, 2010

BBC News features Sri Lanka Unites reconciliation conference

Charles Haviland of the BBC, who attended the Documentary Launch, featured Sri Lanka Unites and the Future Leaders' Conference in an article posted on the BBC website. Click the link below to view the article.

Some exerpts from his article:

People also said they grew up with stereotypes. Kanishka Herat, aged 18, a Sinhalese, remembers that when the Tamil Tigers were strong, there were numerous suicide bombings in Colombo and elsewhere. As a result, he told the BBC, "there was a wrong impression given about the Tamil community and other communities. There were misunderstandings among people, also there was hatred among people, people looking with a sense of suspicion to the other person even if it's their own race, ethnicity."

Kirubakaran Christin Rajah, SLU's assistant vice-president and a Tamil, grew up in a family repeatedly displaced by the fighting in the north. He lost out on the joys of childhood, had "many painful experiences", and simply felt that Tamils as a people were the unlucky ones.......

[But] attitudes changed. The big hug at the end was unpredictable. In the end it worked - it was, in Kirubakaran Christin Rajah's words, "a very important time for my life" and boding a good future.

This positive publicity was not only a great encouragement to us at Sri Lanka Unites, but more, an encouragement for ALL young people and youth organisations in the country, who are already undertaking various positive-change initiatives in post-war Sri Lanka.

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