ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 44
Kandy Times

Regional entrepreneurs reiterate commitment to foster peace

Small and medium entrepreneurs representing the Business for Peace Alliance (BPA) member business chambers throughout Sri Lanka reiterated their commitment recently to work collectively to foster peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

This came at a workshop on Conflict Transformation organized by the BPA in Kandy on March 10 and 11.

The BPA combines regional private sector interests with peace building. The BPA which is committed to regional empowerment and fostering peace and reconciliation through business has been operating over the last five years, according to BPA statements.

BPA’s projects revolve around sharing of experiences between regions (networking, strengthening regional identity across ethno political lines and joint lobbying on economic issues), policy advocacy in Colombo, by providing a platform for regional voices and setting good examples on peace building and conflict transformation in the regions and sharing of experiences in terms of best practices.

The workshop on Conflict Transformation was part of BPA’s new phase of development since it’s formal institutionalizing process which started at the end of last year.

The workshop focused on the history and roots of the Sri Lankan Conflict, the process of Conflict, tools for addressing conflicts, conflict mapping and the role of the business sector in conflict transformation and peace building.

“The participants who represented all the main ethnic communities, religions and geographical regions in Sri Lanka found a common platform at the workshop to share views and experiences relating to their role as regional business representatives who were challenged by diverse elements of the ongoing conflict. They also acquired better understanding and basic skills on how to deal with such challenges. The workshop also provided a new opportunity for strengthening business links across the regions,” the statement said.

Developing on the ground work done through the recent workshop, the BPA said it was planning to organize similar events at regional level too to cater to the wider business community throughout Sri Lanka.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.