‘Peace’ is absence of war, or is it?
Sri Lanka suffered a brutal war for over 3 decades that brought the country’s economy and development to a halt. Sri Lankans were scraping, crawling and fighting for survival but now we have no more war, people happily enjoy the newly born free country. After six years of no war, yes, it is peaceful, bombs don’t go off in random directions, No more Military check points, no more restrictions to move about. But the real question is whether wounds of the hearts of the people about the past are healed?
At present as we know 'development' is a key objective in the country, people are more focused on earning money and making their children study hard. Thereby the whole country has not really undergone a process to attain true reconciliation. This is why social cohesion is a key subject to make certain that the wounds of the past wouldn’t be reopened.
Sri Lanka Unites’ initiative of visiting schools and conducting leadership workshops is a part of addressing this element of social cohesion through value based leadership. These workshops consist of understanding war in different perspectives, Leadership development and effective communication. 20 dynamic young leaders representing different parts of the island were chosen to facilitate these workshops, who would share their experiences and their challenges, encouraging students to take action to various social issues.
One of key areas of envisioning their role in society was by painting on the canvass, expressing their views on War and Peace. Few key locations were chosen to present this opportunity to the students, where different interpretations can be compared to understand whether peace is really absence of war.