“All must unite to conquer the challenges against peace and reconciliation” – ONUR

“Reconciliation is a spiritual philosophy and, in a society, where spiritual values are not considered, it is challenging to achieve target sets in this regard. It is the responsibility of all to fulfil respective duty towards achieving this target. So, all must unite together to conquer the challenges against the peace and reconciliation”, Director General of Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) M.S Jayasingha said.

He made these remarks while addressing a session of the International Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts held in Colombo on 6th June.

While explaining the duties of ONUR, he pointed out that ONUR was set up with the commitment to achieve national unity and reconciliation was a key feature of January 2015 Presidential campaign. To give effect to this commitment, the Government of Sri Lanka established the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). ONUR is responsible for formulation and coordinating the implementation of the policies and programmes to build national unity and reconciliation. ONUR principle role is to ensure a durable peace through building bridges between everyone, he added.

We all have a role to play in ensuring the prevention of armed conflict at a micro and macro level. It is not something the Government alone can do, he added.

We in Sri Lanka are still looking for answers. Even after long years of conflict, where everyone in our country irrespective of race, religion, and language has suffered, and we, as a nation, have all suffered collectively, but, unfortunately, some in our country still refuse to look at what unites us as human being and work together for our common good, he added.

In conclusion, he said that ONUR has come up with a roadmap on National Unity. It believes a multi-pronged approach to achieving national unity is important in the Sri Lankan context. In this regard, we believe that the process of building National Unity and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka is connected to multiple aspects affecting lives of people, whether they are from the North, South, East or West of the country.