USAID supported project in Trinco on 'Democracy'

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 December 2004, 05:33 GMT]
The USAID, with the support of Eastern Rehabilitation Organization (ERO) in Trincomalee, has launched a new project: " Improving Local Democracy through Citizen Participation." The inaugural event was held Sunday at the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall as a part of the International Human Rights Day celebrations organized by several UN agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations, sources said.

USAID-Democracy in Trinco
Ms. Brenda Barrett.
Brenda Barrett, Regional Program Manager for USAID in Trincomalee, said at the event that USAID would encourage the leaders of local civil society in peace building activities. Hence the awareness program formulated under the new project.

Human right activist and Attorney-at-Law Mr.K.Sivapalan is the chairman of the ERO.

The total budget of this grant to this project with ERO is approximately $ 40,833 (or SLR 4,267,000). The grant to this project will provide support for the celebration of Human Rights day and subsequent workshops and publication on themes of human rights, peace and democracy. Local government and civil society leaders will participate in the workshops, which will enhance knowledge on human rights and democracy while creating an opportunity for local leaders to discuss and jointly plan for appropriate peace building activities at the local level.

USAID will join other international and national organizations to help celebrate Human Rights Day in Trincomalee on December 12. Support includes t-shirts, caps and cultural program, the statement further said.
USAID-Democracy in Trinco
Ms. Brenda Barrett with the ERO's Chairman, Mr.K.Sivapalan, Attorney-at-Law, seen in discussion


At least 350 participants in the workshops will directly benefit from the learning forums and hundreds, perhaps thousands more, will gain indirectly from an increased awareness of issues of human rights and democracy through discussions and publication, the state added.

This is the 55th grant we have given since our office opened in June 2003 in Trincomalee. To date we in Trincomalee have given grants totalling approximately $ US 871,000 (approximately Sri Lankan Rupees 91,019,500),"Ms Brenda Barrett said.

Under this project, fourteen, two-day residential workshops for local government leaders from all divisions and civil society leaders are to be held in Trincomalee. The topics during these workshops will be: conflict mitigation and mediation skills, human rights and a discussion of key players in peace process of Sri Lanka. Following the workshops all participants will be asked to return to their community to compile a report of what they, and their community perceives to be their most immediate priorities in terms of building peace in their area. This will be documented in leaflet form and distributed. Small booklets will be distributed to participants on the subject of devolution of power, women's rights, child rights and general protection of human rights. Issues pertaining to devolution of power and constitutional changes will be addressed and the views of these groups will be published for public consumption in three languages, the statement said.

 

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