Sri Lankan government officials, journalists and members of civil society recently learned about federalism in a workshop titled Power-sharing Options for Sri Lanka and the Federal Idea. The event, which was hosted by the Forum of Federations and the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in Sri Lanka, was the third in a series of workshops held in Sri Lanka this year.
Christina Murray, Professor of Human Rights and Constitutional Law at the University of Cape Town, began the workshop with an introduction to federalism that highlighted the South African experience. It was followed by a comparative analysis of powersharing experiences in India and Aceh, Indonesia presented by Dalbir Singh, National Secretary of Indian National Congress and Teuku Mufizar Mahmud, a Communications Consultant for PT Freeport Indonesia respectively. Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of the CPA; Rohan Edrisinha, Director and Head of the Legal Unit at the CPA; and Mr. Pradeep Peiris, Head of the Social Indicators Unit of the CPA, also spoke about the relevance of these experiences in the Sri Lankan context at a number of panel and group discussions.
The forty-four participants who attended the workshop included provincial councilors and Pradeseeya Sabha (village council) members, Muslim Peace Secretariat members, lawyers, academics, members of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, civil society and the media. The workshop was attended by Irina Shmakova, the Forum’s program officer for Asia-Pacific.
The event was held in Kandalama (Central Province), Sri Lanka on August 13-14, 2007. The power-sharing workshop series has hosted approximately 150 participants from across five Sri Lankan provinces.