Clergy community mediators to be trained
[TamilNet, Friday, 09 January 2004, 17:42 GMT]
The National Integration Programme Unit (NIPU) of the Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Justice, Law Reform and National Integration is to launch a project to train a group of community mediators from among the respected clergy of all faiths in selected seven districts in the country to provide voluntary services to promote peace and national integration.
Under this project the first training programme for selected Hindu priests is to be inaugurated in Trincomalee Sri Vigneswara Maha Vidiyalayam on January 17th morning.
The project is named “Mindful Mediator Project for Hindu Clergy.'' The project title is
“ Bilingual competencies and peace building skills for mindful mediators.''
Selected Hindu priests will be taught Sinhala and English languages in addition to subjects on Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Counseling, NIPU sources said.
NIPU sources further said that the Mindful Mediator Project is a comprehensive course intending to educate Hindu priests from selected centres and also from Hindu religious schools. Project will build bi-lingual competencies and peace building skills. Initially twenty centres will be established to train 600 clergy members. Two teachers will be appointed by NIPU to each center to train clergy members, said a NIPU official.
The aim of the project is to promote sustainable ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka. The general objective of the project is to train band of community mediators from among the clergy of all faiths to provide voluntary services to promote peace and national integration and to equip them with knowledge and appropriate language and mediation skills to engage themselves in peace promotion and resolving conflict resolution in their own communities effectively, sources said.
Mindful Mediator course will be conducted in three levels, Basic (three months), Intermediate (six months) and Advance (nine months). Classes may be conducted in weekend to cover 36 hours per month, said a NIPU official.