The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) held it Second Policy Workshop on 8 April 2016. The participants included stakeholders from multiple sectors including Ministry Secretaries,
Senior Officials of Government Departments and Agencies, Senior Officials from Provincial Councils and District Administration, Civil society and activists from different regions in the country, think-tanks and non-governmental organizations.
Welcoming the participants to the Second Policy Workshop, Director – General, C. Maliyadde said, “ONUR as the implementing agency of the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation commenced the process to develop a Draft National Policy on Reconciliation last year. The Draft National Policy on Reconciliation that has been presented to you has been subject to several stages of development incorporating perspectives, insights and analysis from several stakeholders through a consultation process.”
Speaking on the policy development process, Deputy Director – Policy, Law and Human Rights, Salma Yusuf explained that, “the purpose of the National Policy on Reconciliation is to provide a consolidated and comprehensive vision for national reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The National Policy on Reconciliation is aimed at providing direction to all reconciliation initiatives in the country, both government and non-government. This will enable a trajectory of complementarity and consistency of outcome.”
The process launched by ONUR to develop a National Policy on Reconciliation began with an extensive mapping of previous and existing national policy initiatives relevant to reconciliation. We have built on existing conversations and analysis on reconciliation, held formal and informal meetings and focus group discussions with key government mechanisms on reconciliation, civil society leaders, and academics and experts.
The aim of the Second Policy Workshop was firstly, to arrive at a shared vision and collective understanding of reconciliation and a constituent policy-mix; Secondly, to unpack the concept of ‘reconciliation’ into actionable components together; and thirdly, to map the institutional arrangements for policy implementation, coordination, evaluation, monitoring and oversight, and reporting.
The First Policy Workshop was held on 24 February 2015 with a selected group of bureaucrats, technocrats, civil society experts and academia. The aim of the First Policy Workshop was to explore fundamental aspects relevant to reconciliation in general, and issues resonant with Sri Lanka in particular. Further, it deliberated on the proposed policy process including a consultation strategy and the options for a policy framework.