A group of six young people from the Sri Lankan Diaspora in the UK visited Sri Lanka from August to September 2012 as part of a wider programme supporting reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
The group comprised British-Sri Lankan youth of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim heritage, of multiple religions, from different parts of the UK. They came to Sri Lanka to learn more about the country and to play their part in promoting post-war reconciliation and development states the British High Commission in Colombo.
During their visit to Sri Lanka, the group attended the annual conference of Sri Lanka Unites in Jaffna, meeting and learning from hundreds of young people from across the island, and forming friendships with a diverse range of Sri Lankans.
They also travelled to Anuradhapura, Kandy, Hambantota and Colombo, meeting community and youth groups focusing on reconciliation, skills development and economic enterprise.
The visit provided an excellent opportunity for young British Sri Lankans to connect with Sri Lankan youth across the country. The group took away an improved understanding of the ground situation and of current opportunities and challenges for young people. They also left with a renewed determination to support reconciliation and development, and to encourage other young British Sri Lankans to do so too.
Four of the six young people on the trip were from a group called Voices for Reconciliation. Based in the UK, Voices for Reconciliation is an independent, multi-ethnic, multi-religious group of young British Sri Lankans whose aim is to promote reconciliation on a foundation of equality, understanding and openness.
They firmly believe that the Diaspora – not just from the UK, but from other countries, too – has an important role in this process, working together to rebuild Sri Lanka. Other members of the delegation are part of a growing collective of young professionals from the UK – Sri Lankan Diaspora whose aim is to better understand the context in Sri Lanka and jointly support sustainable peace and development.