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    » 08/06/2012, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Forum on citizen-government relations in Trincomalee

    Melani Manel Perera

    With branches in 16 districts, the Active Citizenship for Development Network organises a conference on the topic. One of its goals is to provide proposals and ideas to the authorities for the 2013 budget.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Active Citizenship for Development Network (ACDN) organised a conference in Trincomalee to discuss ways to increase awareness among the poor of their human and economic rights at the local and national level. About 130 people came together to talk about proposals and ideas on local development to be submitted to provincial, regional and national authorities.

    Set up by the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), the Uva Community Development Center, the Law and Society Trust Movement (LST), and the Center For Society and Religion, the network operates in 16 districts, including Colombo, Kalutara, Badulla, Kegalle, Monaragala, Ampara, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Mannara.

    ACDN coordinator Pradeep Wanigasooriya said that in the country's north, 25 forums have already been established in four districts. This allows local community leaders to discuss issues and formulate proposals to submit ahead of the government's 2013 budget. "Our projects are people-oriented," Wanigasooriya explained.

    The conference in Trincomalee also provided an opportunity for networking between various local groups and government officials.

    "The meeting was not only useful to come with proposals concerning the 2013 budget, but also "to help participants become more aware about their strenghts and opportunities," Wanigasooriya added.

    In addition, the ACDN has organised various courses to help the poor work with private companies and public officials, including courses on risks and opportunities of land concessions and mining.

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    See also

    23/11/2011 SRI LANKA
    Rajapaksa presents ‘army-friendly’ 2012 budget
    Defence spending still takes the lion share (LKR 230 billion or US$ 2.1 billion). The president expects growth to reach 8 per cent next year, with per capita incomes of US$ 4,000 by 2016. Economic opening to outside forces follows years of a self-centred path. Opposition parties, public sector workers and Catholics are critical. The 2012 budget does not focus on people-oriented development.

    09/06/2010 SRI LANKA
    Colombo, more money allocated to army than economy, despite war being over
    Population’s disbelief over 201 billion rupees (1.5 billion) allocated to the Ministry of Defence despite the war ending last year. Education, health and economic development are in crisis.

    12/11/2007 SRI LANKA
    Opposition against budget, a heavy burden on people
    The United National Party will not vote in favour of the 2008 budget because planned expenditures include record defence spending and higher direct and indirect taxes, which are likely to push inflation up to 22 per cent. Dissatisfaction among ordinary Sri Lankans grows whilst government allies are also unhappy.

    26/03/2007 THAILAND
    Thai Church seeking greater ties among tribal groups in Thailand’s hill country
    A recent conference organised by the Thai Bishops’ Conference focused on strengthening ties, networking and increasing awareness of legal rights by tribal groups. But wider society can also learn from them how to better protect natural resources.

    27/01/2012 SRI LANKA
    Catholic Bishops of Sri Lanka against pro-abortion law
    The government proposes abortion "only" for unwanted pregnancies. The Bishops' Conference "categorically" and "firmly" opposes any attempt to "legalize murder, in all its forms."



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