The sixth chapter in the FCE book was authored by Priyan Seneviathan. I’m no expert on the Sri Lanka context vis-a-vis social identities and relationships for conflict prevention. So this “review” will figure a few excerpts from the chapter that I found interesting.
Currently there are 95 such Co-Existence Committees established across 7 districts of the country comprising of 5,821 members.
The uniqueness of the co-existence committees is that they comprise of people from different trades and different religions as well as different ethnic groups.
Boege in his analysis on conflict transformation argues that for a successful conflict transformation process to take place, there should be mechanisms in place that are effective in the localities of conflict affected societies that could effectively address relational issues at the local level. He argues that solutions that are bought ‘at the top’ will not be sustainable unless they are synchronized properly with solutions that are coming from the bottom.
In a world that always tries to look at the big picture of a conflict, important aspects of communal relationships that are formed through social identities tend to lose its influence when planning for a post conflict reconstruction phase.
I wish that more had been shared on the main challenges that FCE faced in helping to form the Co-Existence Committees. It would be helpful to have a list of hard lessons learned.