ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?
For Progress and Obstacles, see international report by Pathways to Peace which makes an annual report of Peace Day activities, from which the following is taken:
The Nonviolent Peaceforce provided people with the opportunity to Work a Day for Peace by donating a day’s wages to help create the Peaceforce. Various dates for the Day for Peace were set around the world. (2004)
Mobitel Peace Club: Mobitel, a truly Sri Lankan Wireless Telecommunication company, contributed towards the World Peace Day by: informing their clientele of 450,000 to join hands by hoisting the National Flag at home and at work places; publishing press advertisements Monday 20th September 2004 requesting public participation by conducting prayer ceremonies, community services; and by organizing Internal campaigns such as wearing a white band, displaying posters and the National Flag, and distributing White bands to customers coming to their head office, branches & dealer points. (2004)
Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and other civil society groups organized a huge event on September 21, 2004, when over 300,000 people gathered to celebrate the International Day of Peace from all over the country. Hundreds of Buddhist monks and other religious leaders participated in a peace meditation to mark Universal Peace Day on the Bandarnaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) grounds in Colombo. Crowds stayed through heavy rains during the meditation. Government and LTTE fighters were asked to participate in teaching programs about the value of nonviolence, and to work on joint projects that will repair the devastation of war and build more peaceful communities. Activities were coordinated in 7,500 villages around the island, in every region of the country, including local village meditation groups, focused on nonviolence, sharing vegetarian meals (avoid killing animals), practicing nonviolence with oneself by avoiding drugs, alcohol, smoking and other intoxicants, each family planting a "tree of peace" (a constant reminder of our relationship with nature), in each village, a gathering to honor and bless expectant mothers (symbolizing our commitment of nonviolence into the future), in each village, visiting and care for the elderly (honoring our past), giving special honor to all people, on all sides, who are engaged in landmine removal, screening movies in villages that carry a theme of nonviolence and Peace and asking the television stations to participate in this effort. There were local Peace meditations and other activities promoting nonviolence in all 5,000 Sarvodaya preschools, involving up to 500,000 children and mothers. (2004)
United Nations Association of Sri Lanka conducted the Sri Lanka National Observance of the United Nations' IDP 2003 for the eleventh successive year. It was coordinated at a school by the Mobile Unit of the UNA's Education Committee, the school principal, teachers and pupils on Monday, September 22nd, as the Sunday 21st is a school and public holiday. The ceremony will include the hoisting of the United Nations, the Dan the National flag, Koffman International Flag of Peace, and the School flag, followed by the National Anthem of Sri Lanka. Thereafter, there will be short addresses by UNA Representatives and the school principal followed by a short play on the UN. The UNA of Sri Lanka would like to expand the observances of this event throughout the country. (2003)