Communities Without Boundaries International in partnership with the United States Department of State in Sri Lanka carried out an advanced nonviolence and peacebuilding training and dialogue for youth from May 26-30, 2011. Approximately 120 youth from across the island participated in the workshop. Universities represented in the training included The University of Colombo-Sri Pali Campus, University of Peradeniya, University of Jaffana, Rajarata University, Eastern University of Sri Lanka, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Sabaragamuwa University, and The University of Kelaniya.
The workshop included training advanced Kingian nonviolence philosophy and practice, peacebuilding, and dialogue for youth from the Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim ethnic communities and diverse religious backgrounds from across the island.
The trainers included, CWBI’s President, Johnny J. Mack, Maneshka Eliatamby, Vice President of Programs, Dr. Silvia Susnjic, Vice President of Research, and Dr. Martha Mutisi, Director of Southern and Eastern Africa Programs.
In the run up to the advanced training and dialogue workshop, CWBI carried out a series of introduction to nonviolence and peacebuilding workshops in January and March 2011. Over a two-week period in January 2011, CWBI’s team conducted trainings in Matara, Horona (Sri Pali Campus at Colombo University), Bandaragama and Padukka. We returned to Sri Lanka in March 2011, and carried out another series of workshops at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, University of Kelaniya, and Rajarata University in Anuradhapura. In 2010, CWBI staff conducted trainings in Colombo, at South Eastern University in Olluvil, Eastern University in Batticoloa, and at the University of Jaffna.
These workshops were tailored towards youth, members of grassroots and civil society, providing the audiences with inspirational information on nonviolent social movements from around the world. Our trainings are developed as an active learning process, with audience participation and engagement. The trainings which were taken to six of the eight provinces in Sri Lanka reached diverse groups including university students, faculty, university administrative staff, youth groups, religious leaders, and grassroots communities. The US State Department estimates that over thirteen thousand individuals received the introductory training.