How a village school unites communities
Amid nationwide protests held on Feb. 27 against efforts by foreign
states to undermine and intrude into Sri Lanka's post war reconciliation
process, the most defiant protest took place in Saliyapura Village,
Kantale where a group of individuals donated an IT facility to a rural
school with the aim of bringing different ethnic communities together
and helping the reconciliation process.
for Saliyapura Vidyalaya, Kantale
One of the conditions insisted upon by the donors was that the school
receiving the facility must allow students from neighbouring schools
which are attended by students of a different ethnicity to use the
The aim is to increase the interaction between students of different
communities who are segregated by our education system according to
racial and linguistic lines.
It was ironic that on a day that some people are genuinely trying to
achieve reconciliation, across in Geneva, another group of people are
trying to undermine these efforts.
Hub of interaction
The donors said that the computer centre will serve as a hub of
interaction between races, leading to mutual understanding and trust.
The inspiration for the 'pilot project' had come through the Heal Lanka
Forum, which is a forum of likeminded people to bring about healing to
all Sri Lankans who have been affected by the internal conflict of our
country, leading to reconciliation and unity.
Achieving reconciliation is not just the responsibility of the
government but all citizens of Sri Lanka as individuals, organizations
All of us have a responsibility to reach out to our neighbours,
villagers and countrymen, it might take a bit of courage at first but it
doesn't take a lot of effort. Not only is Sri Lanka a sovereign country,
but our constitution confers that ‘in Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in her
people’. While the government can do a lot of things, it can't do
everything nor should it.
The IT facility which consists of ten computers is located at the
Saliyapura Vidyalaya, Kantale while students of the neighbouring
Darusalam Vidyalaya in Kantale will also use the facility. The opening
ceremony was held with pageantry and fanfare. Performances showcasing
the talents of the students were a highlight. The donors highlight that
only ten computers had been donated while the school authorities with
the help of the parents and the community had repaired the building
including installing ceiling, done the wiring, made the desks and chairs
for the computers.
The dedicated support of the 222 brigade of the Sri Lanka Army in the
coordinating the project as well as providing the manpower and
logistical support was appreciated by school Principal of Saliyaura
A special mention was also made of the assistance of the education
authorities in the area including the Zonal Director of education who
recommended the schools in the area which needed the most assistance.