EU to provide Rs. 813 m for seven projects in Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

EU to provide Rs. 813 m for seven projects in Sri Lanka

The EU Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives unveiled a number of important new projects to support human rights and civil society in Sri Lanka.

It launched seven projects to mark the International Human Rights’ Day. These seven projects are funded under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities (CSO/LA) Thematic Instrument.

“We cannot take human rights for granted. We know the struggles that are still taking place,” Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Denis Chaibi said.

The EU will be channeling about Rs. 813.7 million (EUR 4 million) to the following civil society organisations: Acted, Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation, Search for Common Ground, Helvetas Intercooperation GGMBH, Chrysalis, Humanity and Inclusion and Fagligt Falles Forbund Forening – 3F, who will work jointly with their local partners to promote social rights, women’s empowerment and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. These projects will also be instrumental to build the capacities of local communities and stakeholders, including the media, lawyers and women’s rights organisations.

“International Human Rights’ Day is an occasion to reminisce significant victories on HR sphere and reflect on where we are. It is necessary to focus on hate speech as the challenge will be a deeply divided society,” Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Dr. Deepika Udagama said.

“In terms of civil society, we need strong social movements which are lacking at present. We need to build social movements with very large civil base and need to move in this direction. Sri Lanka should think about the future of independent institutions and a new social model in going forward,” she said.

Human rights, rule of law and democracy are core values of the European Union (EU). Sustainable peace and stability, long-term development and prosperity cannot exist without respect for human rights and democratic institutions. The European Union promotes and defends these values and principles both within its borders and when engaging in relations with external countries.

Over the past 10 years, the EU has been funding around 80 projects (valued at €25 million) through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities (CSO/LA) instruments to support human rights and civil society organisations in Sri Lanka. This comes in addition to the EU-Sri Lanka bilateral cooperation (€760 million - Rs.123 billion for the past decade) in fields as diverse as rural development, humanitarian aid, reconciliation, governance and public finance management.

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