Caux Scholars Alumnus Suchith Abeyewickreme Shares Videos of Sri Lankan Solidarity

On April 21st, during Easter Sunday celebrations and worship services in Sri Lanka, eight coordinated bombings took place in three cities (Colombo, Negombo and Batticoloa) between 8:45am - 2:15pm. The explosions killed more than 250 people and injured over 500 persons. These acts of violent extremism are not only reflective of attacks happening across the world - most recently in New Zealand, the U.S. (California), and Burkina Faso among other places - but also echo a multiplier of traumatic conditions experienced by Sri Lankans during the civil war that ended a decade ago. Debates are amplified over the Sri Lankan government’s decision to enforce a brief social media ban and now a ban against face veil coverings in an effort to increase security procedures within the country.

Suchith Abeyewickreme, a Caux Scholars Program 2016 alumnus from Sri Lanka, has been part of peacebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka well before the April 21st attacks. Suchith is a consultant and trainer on interfaith and intercultural ethics education, peacebuilding and inter-faith dialogue and works on a number of initiatives focused on youth leadership, environment and climate change, peace education and volunteerism. He also represents the Multi-Region as a Global Council Trustee with United Religions Initiative (URI).

In two separate videos below, Suchith shares sentiments about how Sri Lankans are working across social divides to reconstruct spaces of trust, belonging and solidarity for all persons and communities within the country.

Sri Lanka is going through difficult days. Everyone is very vigilant and acting responsibly to care for the safety of the people. We as a country responded very quickly when the attacks took place with a lot of positive responses from people to try and help each other across community divides. People having been holding each other up as things have become difficult.
— Suchith Abeyewickreme

Our team at Initiatives of Change USA sends our deepest condolences to the people of Sri Lanka and all those affected by the multi-faceted massacres that took place on Easter Sunday. Our hearts are activated by our Sri Lankan family - alumni, a faculty director, and partners with the Caux Scholars Program in Asia Plateau and Switzerland - who work relentlessly on the frontlines of peacebuilding, conflict transformation, trauma healing and restorative justice across many sectors in Sri Lanka. We stand with you in this difficult time.

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