The discussion continued from yesterday with a presentation of Discussion Points of Day 2 by Mr. Neashan Gunasekera, one of the facilitators of the roundtable discussion presided over by the following panelists: The Minister of Plantations Industries and the President’s Special Envoy on Human Rights, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Policy Specialist of the U.N. Development Program Ms. Sonali Dayarathne, Director of the Youth Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat Ms. Katherine Ellis.
Mr. Samarasinghe, speaking on Sri Lanka’s move towards comprehensive reconciliation, pointed out that “since Sri Lanka is a multi-national and multi-cultural country, we want to safeguard the diversity installing the individual identity.” He further mentioned that despite two insurrections in the South and the 30 years of conflict in the North and East, the Government of Sri Lanka was able to operate government institutions and hold elections to ensure democracy and the parliamentary system in the country.
Speaking on empowering marginalized groups for equal participation in decision-making, Ms. Dayaratne said, “Voices of people who are marginalized should be heard by the people who make policies.” She also pointed out the importance of building vibrant civil societies for good governance.
In the process of building good governance, the importance of acknowledging and understanding the other person’s perspective was mentioned in Ms. Ellis’ speech. Also she added the importance of teaching citizenship education in schools to inculcate values of integrity and interaction in young children.