The Language Sector meets to review progress and plan for the future

NLEAP hosts stakeholder workshop for annual work planning

The guardians and stewards of the Language Sector, National Languages Division of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government (NLD -The Ministry), the Official Languages Commission (OLC), the Department of Official Languages (DOL) and the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET) came together for an Annual Work Planning Workshop facilitated by NLEAP. Held on the 6th of September, the session provided a forum for NLEAP partner institutions to review achievements to date and plan for the activities ahead.

NLEAP, a 4.5 year, CAD 10.85M project funded by the Government of Canada to strengthen the implementation of the Sri Lankan Official Languages Policy (OLP) by government actors, was originally supposed to end in December 2022. However, the political crisis in 2018, the fallout of the Easter Bomb in 2019, the mitigating impact of the COVID19 Pandemic In 2020-2021, compounded by the unprecedented political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka in 2022, impeded the achievement of some of key milestones targeted by NLEAP. The proposed no cost extension till July 2023 envisions the achievement of some of these delayed milestones before the end of the project.

Warmly welcoming the partner institutions Mr. M. Thirunavukarasu (Project Deputy Director – NLEAP) voiced his appreciation of their commitment to promote the effective implementation of the OLP despite insurmountable odds. Having outlined the objectives of the session, Ms. Veena Verma (Canada-Based Project Director & Human Rights, Gender and Governance Advisor/NLEAP) shared a quick overview of the no-cost extension proposal and revised progress markers for 2022-23. As Ms. R. Wijialudchumi (Additional Secretary, NLD-The Ministry) noted, with the project entering its final stages, the workshop marked a critically decisive juncture.  The presentations by the NLEAP team outlining the overall progress of activities upto Q3 of 2022 and the planned activity for Q4 created the backdrop for team discussions about their respective work plans till July 2023. The presentation by the institution teams of their respective annual work plans encouraged further dialogue and collaboration within the language sector. Forums like this annual work planning workshop are critical to ensuring a holistic approach when translating Language Policy into action. In his final remarks Mr M.M.P.K Mayadunne ((Secretary, The Ministry) thanked the Government of Canada for the continued support extended to the Government of Sri Lanka, to protect and promote the language rights of all its citizens and support and strengthen the OLP implementation.