Jaffna Discourse |‍‍‍‍‍‍யாழ் உரையாடல்| යාපනය කථිකාව

 4th February 2024

The Jaffna Discourse is a national initiative that aims to achieve sustainable peace in Sri Lanka by engaging all stakeholders in a constructive and inclusive dialogue. the Jaffna Discourse goes beyond the other Peace Initiative by proposing a three-dimensional (3D) peace process that consists of Discussion, Dialogue and Declaration.

The vision of the Jaffna Discourse is to create a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka that celebrates its diversity and fosters social cohesion.

The mission of the Jaffna Discourse is to facilitate a comprehensive and participatory dialogue among all segments of society, including political parties, civil society, CBO’s, religious leaders, media, academia, youth and women, to address the root causes of the conflict and to find durable solutions.

The objectives of the Jaffna Discourse are to:

1. Promote a culture of dialogue and mutual understanding among different communities and regions of Sri Lanka
    This involves creating spaces and opportunities for people from different backgrounds, identities, and perspectives to interact and communicate with each other in a respectful and constructive way. It also involves fostering a sense of empathy and appreciation for the diversity and complexity of Sri Lankan society. (organizing inter-community dialogues, workshops, and exchanges; developing educational and media programs that promote pluralism and tolerance; and supporting local peace initiatives and networks that bridge divides and build trust.)

2. Identify and address the grievances and needs of the people affected by the conflict, especially the victims and survivors
    Acknowledging and addressing the human and material losses, traumas, and injustices that the conflict has caused to individuals and communities, especially those who have suffered the most. It also involves providing support and assistance to meet the basic and specific needs of the affected populations, such as security, health, education, livelihood, and dignity. (conducting truth-seeking and documentation processes; providing reparations and compensation to victims and survivors; offering psychosocial and legal counseling and services; and facilitating access to humanitarian and development aid.)

3.Support the constitutional reform process that ensures the delegation of power and the protection of human rights
    Participating and influencing the political and legal processes that aim to redefine and reform the governance and institutional structures of Sri Lanka, in order to ensure a more inclusive, representative, and accountable system that respects the rights and aspirations of all its citizens. It also involves promoting and monitoring the implementation and compliance of the constitutional and legal provisions that guarantee the delegation of power and the protection of human rights. (engaging in advocacy and lobbying with political actors and stakeholders; conducting public awareness and education campaigns on the constitutional reform process and its implications; and establishing and strengthening human rights mechanisms and institutions.)

4.Strengthen the reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms that foster accountability, healing and trust
    This objective involves supporting and contributing to the establishment and functioning of the reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms that aim to address the past and present violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, in order to ensure accountability, redress, and non-recurrence. It also involves facilitating and enabling the participation and voice of the victims and survivors, as well as the perpetrators and bystanders, in the reconciliation and transitional justice processes, in order to promote healing and trust among the parties and the society. (providing technical and financial assistance to the reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms; organizing consultations and dialogues with the affected groups and communities; and supporting reconciliation and peace education initiatives and programs.)

5.Enhance the role of civil society and media in promoting peace, democracy and development
    Strengthening and empowering the civil society and media sectors as key actors and partners in the peacebuilding and democratization processes, in order to enhance their capacity, legitimacy, and influence. It also involves encouraging and facilitating the collaboration and coordination among the civil society and media organizations and networks, as well as with other sectors and actors, in order to promote peace, democracy and development. (providing training and mentoring to civil society and media practitioners and leaders; supporting the establishment and functioning of civil society and media platforms and coalitions; and creating and disseminating information and messages that support peace, democracy and development.)

6. Build the capacity and leadership of the youth and women to participate in the peace process and to contribute to the social transformation
    This involves recognizing and enhancing the potential and role of the youth and women as agents of change and leaders in the peace process and the social transformation, in order to ensure their meaningful and effective participation and representation. It also involves addressing and overcoming the barriers and challenges that the youth and women face in accessing and exercising their rights and opportunities, in order to empower them and enable them to fulfill their aspirations. (providing scholarships and grants to youth and women for education and entrepreneurship; supporting the formation and mobilization of youth and women groups and movements; and advocating for the implementation of the relevant national and international frameworks and commitments on youth and women.)

The Jaffna Discourse invites all Sri Lankans to join this historic opportunity to shape the future of their country and to build a lasting peace for themselves and their children. The Jaffna Discourse believes that peace is possible and that dialogue is the way to achieve it.

Arun Siddharth 
(4th February 2024 at Weerasingham Hall, Jaffna, Sri lanka)

Principle Foundation for the discourse:
1. Agree to Disagree
2. I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It
3. There is always a way to solve problems without violence.

Founding Partners:
1. Jaffna Civil Society Center
2. Jaffna Women Front
3. Jaffna Ambedkar Movement
4. Jaffna Young Men’s Buddhist Association
5. Association of Relatives of Disappeared by Tamil Militant Groups.