Dhara Wijayatilake, Secretary General of the Chamber was invited to join the Sri Lanka delegation headed by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance and Mass Media which briefed the Peace Building Commission of the United Nations (PBC) at its sessions in New York on April 17th, 2019. Mrs. Wijayatilake briefed the PBC on the “Chambers for Peace”  programme initiated by the Ceylon Chamber this year.

She prefaced her briefing by stating as follows : “It is our belief that peace building is not the responsibility of governments alone and that those who aspire to a peaceful existence as a society must play its role in securing that objective.

The private sector is also deeply conscious of the imperative of a conducive environment in the country to achieve corporate objectives.

Although the war ended, the challenge to deal with heightened consciousness of ethnic and religious differences and resulting prejudices and suspicions is still real. Recent events highlighted that a cleansing of the minds to rid divisive thinking was an urgent need.

A recent survey done by the UN office in Colombo showed that a considerable number had confidence in the private sector. Among those who said they had confidence, were members of ethnic minorities. A significant number also said they believed that the private sector should play a larger role in promoting a diverse society.

We believe that the private sector actors can add value to peace building. “

On April 7th, the CCC had discussions with District Chambers to identify programmes that can be carried out in districts to maintain ethnic unity. It is believed that, consequent to the April 21st events, that initiative assumes an even more vital role.