The National Languages Equality Advancement Project (NLEAP) in collaboration with the Official Languages Commission (OLC) successfully concluded the “Training of Trainers Workshop on Official Languages Policy and Communication Tools”. The 16 Trainers from the Official Languages Commission completed the five-day training programme thus becoming an invaluable resource pool for the future implementation of the Official Languages Policy. The workshop was held at the Galle Face Hotel from the 22nd-25th March.
Mr. D Kalansooriya, Attorney at Law/ Chairman of OLC speaking at the Opening Ceremony, reminded the trainers of the unique role they would play in equipping others to better understand and successfully implement the Official Languages Policy in their spheres of influence. The keynote address by Mr. Dhamma Dissanayake, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science & Public Policy, University of Colombo, on ‘Language and Culture’ set the tone for the whole workshop – highlighting with insight and humour the invariable connection between culture and language. The 5-day training programme was conducted by Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi Attorney at Law/Consultant, NLEAP who worked closely with the Official Languages Commission to develop the handbook, tools and literature required by the trainers to effectively carry out their training programmes. A presentation by Mr. M. Thirunavukarasu, Attorney at Law/Deputy Director, NLEAP on ‘Official Languages Policy (OLP) – Constitutional Provisions on Languages’ laid the foundation for the workshop, giving a brief overview of the legal framework the Official Languages Policy is built on. The workshop sessions also included presentations on ‘The Role of a Trainer’ by Mr. Malika Amarasekera – Trainer and Consultant and ‘Effective & Gender Sensitive communication’ by Malraji Wannarachchi, Capacity Development & Governance Specialist, NLEAP and Saama Rajakaruna, Gender Specialist, NLEAP.
The awarding of certificates to the participants took place under the distinguished patronage of Honorable Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Minister of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government. Also participating in the event was Mr. Daniel Joly, Counsellor and Head of Development Cooperation at the Canadian High Commission to Sri Lanka and Maldives.