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Samasevaya works to promote peace in Sri Lanka through development and by raising awareness.
Last updated: July 2015

Samasevaya works for peace, democracy, and human rights through development. It helps to strengthen the peace process in the country and aims to further the acceptance of people's right to peace and development, and to strengthen civil society’s contribution to conflict transformation. Through their programmes they have been able to unite people to work for peace and so to make their voices heard.

Having conducted peace-related work for over 20 years, they have realised that for a lasting, powerful impact on a national level, the country needs a peace movement that unites and covers the entire island. Currently they have independent entities working for peace through isolated initiatives, but their work would be more effective if these organisations unite and work as a single body.

Cultural Group for Peace (Sama Sanskruthika Parshadaya)

Samasevaya supports a group of young people from different ethnicities who write, perform, and record music about peace. Their aim is to popularise the Sri Lankan peace process and bring different ethnicities together.

The group composes the music themselves, and performs their songs in villages and at special events. These events, arranged through Samasevaya, are not limited to peace activities, and therefore allow a broad range of audiences to be reached. The group's songs are also broadcast throughout the country via the provincial radio station, Rajarata Sevaya.

Inter-religious Trust-building Activities

This project brings together the various religious groups of Sri Lanka, and helps them understand how their religions share core beliefs about the importance of building peace together.At least two major annual gatherings of people from all religions are held in a neutral public place. These gatherings are used to share the non-violent values and teachings that form the core of all religions. They also offer an opportunity for religious clergy to meet and pray together, according to their own religions, for the united cause of peace for the country.

Inter-ethnic Exchange Programmes

Since 2002 Samasevaya has been facilitating Sinhalese visits from Anuradhapura to Tamil areas in Jaffna, and vice versa. The aim is to create acceptance, understanding and a feeling of unity between the two ethnic groups by giving them the opportunity to observe the cultural aspects of Tamil and Sinhalese life, and through this, learn the similarities and differences between them. The scheme also gives participants an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of the other ethnicity, as well as their food and culture, and gives them an opportunity to witness the impact of war on the other ethnicity. The visits are followed up with training sessions and workshops in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

Environment Protection Program

Samasevaya have recently established an environmental protection programme in the Anuradapura region, with the objective of supporting peace through the promotion of environmental peace.

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