US to fund human rights promotion in Sri Lanka

The US State Department has announced funding for organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that promote democracy, human rights, and rule of law in Sri Lanka.

A release by the US State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) said that the funding will be made available for projects including those that look at increasing safety for journalists.

On the media in Sri Lanka, approximately $500,000 is to be made available to strengthen the capacity of independent media in the area of investigative journalism and increase safety and support for journalists in Sri Lanka.

“The bureau seeks proposals that will increase the capacity of independent media to effectively investigate and report in a restrictive environment, provide digital and physical security training to journalists, bloggers and other media professionals, including those who work in post-conflict areas and cover issues such as reconciliation, accountability within a rule of law framework and democratic governance and establish a mechanism that offers legal support and advocacy for media professionals who are facing legal challenges,” the State Department said.

On facilitating reconciliation in Sri Lanka, the US State Department is to make available another $500,000 to facilitate cooperation across religious and ethnic lines to advance reconciliation so that all citizens of Sri Lanka can live with each other in peace.

“The bureau seeks proposals that will create opportunities for religious and ethnic groups to come together to promote reconciliation through cross-community communication and programming. Activities should include developing a plan to promote reconciliation at the community level using the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report recommendations as a starting point, identifying community leaders, including youth and women, to facilitate and advance the reconciliation process and implementing concrete actions to build inter-community trust and understanding such as peace-building and dialogue activities, or other mechanisms to foster inter-communal collaboration. Organizations should identify pilot communities with significant multi-ethnic and religious populations where program activities would be implemented,” the US State Department said. (Colombo Gazette)