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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2251

Berghof Foundation calims it is dedicated to a negotiated settlement to the conflict and a lasting peace for all

Colombo, 28 August, ( Berghof Foundation For Conflict Studies, an International Non-profit organization is based in Colombo. Director of the Organization Dr. Nobert Ropers wrote to the Editor of "Asian Tribune." In his email letter addressed to the Editor, he wrote that the news item "German NGO's duplicity exposed," which appeared in the Asian Tribune of 19 August, as "incorrect." He added that news item written by Janaka Perera, our columnist as "disseminating incorrect information of a highly defamatory nature about our Foundation."

He also forwarded a giving details about his Foundation and its activities.

Unfortunately Dr. Nobert Ropers has failed to point out categorically the so called "incorrect information of a highly defamatory nature" in his statement sent to "Asian Tribune."

Given below is the full text of the statement issued by Dr. Nobert Ropers to "Asian Tribune":

Dedicated to a negotiated settlement to the conflict
and a lasting peace for all

Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies marks five years of activity

Observing the 5th anniversary of the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies, Sri Lanka office, we reiterate our commitment to assist the communities living in Sri Lanka towards finding a negotiated political solution to the conflict. We believe that all people despite their ethnicity, religion, gender, caste, class should participate in co-designing a peaceful shared future in Sri Lanka. To this end, we will continue to support more inclusive processes towards creating a mutually acceptable and sustainable solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. We also take this opportunity to thank all our partners for the enriching experience of collaborating with them.

Our entry

The Foundation was invited to set up an office in Sri Lanka by the Government of Sri Lanka in July 2001. The main idea was to provide support, assistance, external experiences and expert knowledge to the principal negotiating parties, other political parties and civil society groups who are involved in the process of developing a peaceful path to just peace.

Our funding

The work of the Berghof Foundation in Sri Lanka is funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which supports programs of the Berghof Foundation as part of it’s bilateral development cooperation with the Government of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, our engagement in Sri Lanka is based on an agreement signed between the German Government and the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka.

Our Principles

(1) We are a conflict transformation organization driven by the motivation to alleviate human suffering caused by violent conflict and war. We are convinced that dialogue, mutual understanding, moderation, negotiations and joint problem solving are the best way to solve conflicts. We do believe that each and every act of violence implies the danger that new violence is created.

(2) We are committed to enhance the respect for human rights and compliance with international humanitarian law. As a conflict transformation organization our mandate is predominantly to support the internal capacities of all stakeholders for respecting human life and human security.

(3) We endeavor to be as multipartial as possible in our work. We work with the main protagonists of the conflict, Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as well as with other stakeholders to the conflict, political parties and groups who are interested in creating a peaceful Sri Lanka.

(4) We work in partnership with Sri Lankan organizations and groups as we believe that a sustainable peaceful solution to the conflict can only be developed by the people of Sri Lanka.

(5) The latter principle is also the reason why we do not advocate any specific solution to the conflict. It has to be a solution owned by the stakeholders and all people living in Sri Lanka. However, we are committed to supporting a negotiated settlement and we are convinced that some kind of substantive power sharing will be key to this settlement.

(6) We are accountable to our partners in Sri Lanka, to our donors and are bound by the law and administrative regulations of Sri Lanka.

Our work

(1) We help to build the institutional and personal capacity of groups and parties who are engaged in the peace process so that they do not have to rely on external support for conflict resolution in the long run. Over the last five years, we have been working with representatives of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Indian Origin communities providing them access to information, external expertise and opportunities to travel abroad in order to learn from similar experiences of practitioners and academics from different parts of the world.

(2) We support research projects and policy studies which help to generate new ideas in moving away from violence and transforming the conflict. In this respect we have also provided expertise on issues on human security and security sector reform from other conflict zones when we received corresponding requests from the Government and security institutions. Our main focus is now on topics around policy frameworks, constitutional reform, power-sharing and devolution, conflict transformation and negotiations as well as new avenues for the peace process.

(3) We help to create opportunities for representatives of all stakeholders and parties to engage in efforts of mutual understanding, of dialogues, in joint analyses, and – ideally – in efforts for joint problem solving for a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.

Dr Norbert Ropers

Also Read : German NGO's duplicity exposed

Tomorrow: Our Columnist Janaka Perera’s response.

- Asian Tribune -

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