Space for Peace

TitelSpace for Peace
Typ der PublikationBook
Untertitel / SerientitelThe work of the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies in Sri Lanka, 2001 - 2008
Anzahl Seiten74 pp.
VerlagBerghof Conflict Research

(The following text forms the introduction of the publication)
In July 2001, the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies Sri Lanka Office (also known as the Berghof Foundation) began its work of supporting the peace efforts of academic institutions, civil society and political actors in Sri Lanka. Since then, the Foundation has engaged in numerous partnerships to support and reinforce domestic peacebuilding capacities and help create space for dialogue on conflict transformation and a peaceful settlement. To date, the Foundation has funded over 200 programmes and worked to build a network of organizations and individuals engaged in peace work and conflict transformation.
The programme conducted by the Berghof Foundation in Sri Lanka was known as the Resource Network for Conflict Studies and Transformation (RNCST). The nomenclature emphasized the need to enhance resources and encourage the building of networks and relationships. The RNCST was initiated by invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka and was supported by two European governments (the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development working through the German Technical Cooperation Agency, GTZ). Its Sri Lankan State partner was the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration. The Berghof Foundation was asked to be the implementing agency of the RNCST. Its work in Sri Lanka was part of official development cooperation and thus it did not qualify as an international non-governmental organization (INGO).The purpose of this booklet
This booklet is intended to give a brief overview of our programme and the most important issue areas we have dealt with. It commences with a summary of programme history and the changing relationship it has borne to the different phases of the conflict and peace process over the last six years. The two main chapters deal with and are organized around the two main sequences of the programme: the first dealing with our work during the proclaimed 2002-2004 peace process and the second with activities from 2005 to date, a period during which both the situation on the ground and popular enthusiasm for the peace process deteriorated substantially. While the first phase led to an expansion of our work programme to identify concerns that needed to be addressed in order to keep the fragile peace process on track, the second phase was focused on a much smaller number of programmes. This was the result of focusing on areas that offered the most promise in terms of establishing a new peace process.
The summaries in this booklet are only a selected overview of our work. More comprehensive and in-depth studies will follow later (see the list of publications in the Annex).
The RNCST was originally planned for seven-and-a-half years, from July 2001 to December 2008. It was cut short because my residence visa was not extended at the beginning of 2008, which restricted our operations substantially and compelled us to advance the closure of the office. This decision was taken in agreement with the Governments of Germany and Switzerland and implemented according to the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration. Independent of this decision, the Berghof Foundation will do whatever it can do to support a just and sustainable negotiated settlement for the Sri Lankan conflict. Some ideas for 'multiple peaceful futures' are mentioned in Chapter 10.
The booklet is rounded off with overviews of planning and assessment procedures and our media and communications work. It also includes an overview of Berghof institutions in Germany and a list of their publications. At the time of going to press we are still engaged in transferring several of our activities, which cannot, therefore, be documented here.
Norbert Ropers,
Director Berlin,
July 2008

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