In November 2012, four young second generation British Sri Lankan doctors travelled to Sri Lanka to learn about healthcare issues on the island. The trip was part of International Alert’s diaspora project, which is funded by the British High Commission in Colombo.
Six young cross-party Sri Lankan parliamentarians and political representatives visited the UK from 25th February to 5th March 2013 to explore its governance and democracy models, and continue their engagement with UK-based diaspora.
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Peacebuilding organisation International Alert yesterday published a new report, Voices across borders, which calls for greater engagement between the UK government and diaspora communities, in order to improve peace and development.
In October, our partner organisation Voices for Reconciliation brought together people from Sri Lanka’s diaspora communities to talk about how their personal identities influence their opinions and understanding of Sri Lanka’s history, and how such identities are shaping the country’s post-war future.
Sri Lankan parliamentarians Honourable Vasantha Senanayake MP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party), Honourable Harin Fernando MP (United National Party), and Mr Raghu Balanchandran (Tamil National Alliance) visited the UK from 25th-31st October 2012 in the second of a series of dialogues between this cross-party group of Sri Lankan parliamentarians, political activists and Sri Lankan diaspora communities in the UK.
On 28th September, one of our partner organisations Voices for Reconciliation (VFR) took part in a workshop with young people from Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan diaspora community in the UK.
This article is written by Dominic Perera. Dominic is currently working with International Alert in the Sri Lanka team, based in London. Dominic also facilitates dialogue amongst second-generation Sri Lankan communities in the UK, working to strengthen inter-community relations and actively promote positive diaspora engagement with Sri Lanka.
Nilmini Herath – a member of the delegation of young British Sri Lankan professionals who visited Sri Lanka in March as part of International Alert and the Royal Commonwealth Society's Diaspora Dialogues initiative – shares her experience of speaking in the UK Parliament.
International Alert Sri Lanka, along with our partners the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) launched the “Investment Tab” of the Regional Enterprise Development Initiative (REDI) on 10th July 2012. It is a web-based portal to encourage and enable regional entrepreneurs who want to start their own business, but do not have sufficient funding or access to markets and investors to do so. It is also meant for potential investors and partners, including from the Sri Lankan diaspora, to access information about local market opportunities.
International Alert is proud to present its new annual report, “Peace Talks”, which looks back at Alert’s work and impact in 2011 – when Alert celebrated its 25th year – using dialogue as a theme.
Dialogue is a vital tool we use in our peacebuilding work, and we hope that by showing you in this annual report some of the practical ways in which we use dialogue to bring people together or to improve face-to-face communication in situations where communication has broken down, you will get a good sense of how we work as well as our objectives. The regions we focus on in this report to illustrate our theme are Uganda, South Caucasus, Lebanon and Sri Lanka.