The Federal Idea

Due to the suspension of peace talks three years ago, the Forum’s work in Sri Lanka was focused on public education activities and capacity building, rather than advisory assistance. The Forum and the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) offered a course, "The Federal Idea,” from April 3 to 5, 2005, in Negombo, Sri Lanka. The course focused on the basic definition and models of federalism and was tailored for peace activists, journalists and NGO officials unfamiliar with the concept of federalism. The Forum and CPA selected 80 participants from across the country, representing diverse ethnic and professional groups. The course lectures were presented by outgoing Forum President Bob Rae and Profs. David Cameron and Rekha Saxena, and focused on the Canadian and Indian models. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, also presented in several sessions. Course readings were prepared, translated and distributed in advance. Parallel translation was provided into Sinhala and Tamil, the two languages of Sri Lanka. The Forum continued to support public education and capacity building by providing the translation into Sinhala and the distribution of articles from eight issues of Federations magazine. The Forum also helped the Centre for Policy Alternatives publish a special issue on federalism of its magazine, Peace Monitor. The issue was published in English, Sinhala and Tamil. The Forum also produced reading materials in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

Back to Events