USAID sponsored Democracy workshop begins in Trinco

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 June 2005, 18:23 GMT]
Mr.Manickavasagar Ganesharajah, Trincomalee Magistrate and Additional District Judge Saturday inaugurated a two-day workshop on "Improving Local Democracy through Citizen Participation" which was organized by the Eastern Rehabilitation Organization (ERO) and supported by the USAID. Teachers, Poverty Alleviation Department Officials, representatives of local non-governmental organizations and religious dignitaries participated in the workshop, ERO sources said.

Rights workshop in Trinco
A participant lights the oil lamp while ERO Chairman Mr.Sivapalan, Trincomalee NGOs' Consortium Chairman Mr.T.Thavasilingam and Mr.Nannu look on

Rights workshop in Trinco
Mr.Ganesharajah, Trincomalee Magistrate and Additional District Judge delivering his inaugural address
Mr.Ganesharajah lit the traditional oil lamp followed by Mr.T.Thavasilingam, Chairman of the Trincomalee District NGOs' Consortium, Mr.L.M.R.Iqbal, Consultant to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, ERO Chairman Mr.K.Sivapalan, Ms I Ranjani, Gender Equality Counsellor, and a participant of the workshop.

Mr.Sivapalan in his welcome address said that this was the first in a series of six workshops were to be held in the district with the support of USAID.

"The objectives of the workshop is to enhance the knowledge of local government officials and civil society leaders on issues of human rights, democracy and peace and also to create an opportunity for local leaders to discuss and identify immediate priorities regarding peace building. Another purpose of the workshop is to increase the level of awareness on duties and responsibilities in democratic societies," Mr.Sivapalan said.

Rights workshop in Trinco
(L-R) Ms Ranjini, Mr.Iqbal and Mr.Ganesharajah
Rights workshop in Trinco
A section of the participants of the workshop
Mr.Ganesharajah said in his inaugural address that the United Nation Organization was formed and the Human Rights declaration came into being because of tyranny and large-scale massacre against the humanity in the European countries during the First and Second World Wars. That's why even today European countries are showing keen interest in safeguarding human rights and working against torture, Mr.Ganesharajah said.

Mr.Iqbal said according to a UN report Sri Lanka listed second in a list of countries of the world that have large number of disappearences and high number of human right violations. Workshop of this nature would certainly create awareness among the people to fight for their human rights and work against human rights violation in their areas, he added.

Mr.T.Thavasilingam, Chairman of the Trincomalee District NGOs' Consortium also spoke. Ms I. Ranjani spoke on the Gender Equality.


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