February 15, 2011
Participants at the opening ceremony
Twenty Six young officers representing the various government organizations engaged in facilitating reconstruction and development activities of the conflict affected areas received the opportunity to participate in the Young Leaders Training Programme conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), from 25th January – 11th February in Japan.
The participants represented the Ministries of Economic Development, Resettlement, Local Government and Provincial Councils, Eastern Provincial Council, Northern Provincial Council and the District Secretariats of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
The theme for this year's training was "post-conflict reconstruction and peace building", and the training was based on sharing the experiences of Japan in its own post-war reconstruction and economic restoration process. The 3-week training was mainly conducted in the Okinawa prefecture in Japan, which is in a unique situation with regard to the post-war reconstruction process being under the administration of U.S Government until 1972. The participants got the opportunity to interact with the people of Okinawa, and experience how Okinawan communities face issues with the spirit of mutual support.
The training content included study in to the post-war construction process in Okinawa, and participatory processes applied for consensus building and mutual understanding, from which the participants could gather many lessons which could be adapted to the reconstruction process in Sri Lanka.
Participants interacting with people of Okinawa
The participants also had the opportunity to visit places of significance in the post-war reconstruction process such as the "Peace Memorial Museum", and get some insight into Japanese culture and values which has enabled Japan to reach its current state of development.
The Young Leaders Training programme is an annual training programe conducted and funded by JICA within its assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka towards strengthening government organizations. JICA provides on average of over 200 overseas training opportunities per year to government officers of Sri Lanka.