I am happy to write this message of felicitation on the important occasion of the inauguration of the South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG) in Anuradhapura. I am particularly happy at the key role being played by Samadeepa, and my good friend, Mr. Chandrarathne Bandara, who has been one of the sources of inspiration to civic activists throughout the country. I have warm memories of seminars hosted by him and lectures delivered by him on a range of topics, including temperance, anti corruption and peace.
The problem of political violence in Sri Lanka has been one that earned the country notoriety in the international community. This is doubly unfortunate because the people are peace loving, as public opinion surveys conducted by Samadeepa and other public opinion research organizations have consistently shown. But neither the ethnic conflict nor other pressing problems that generate violence and dissatisfaction in the country can be viewed in isolation from the problems of governance. People are more likely to peacefully accept solutions that are generated if they trust the system of government and those who lead it.
Making the institutions of state more trustworthy would be one of the important challenges facing Sri Lanka and the other countries of South Asia at the present time. Good Governance that builds trust is a crucial issue in peace building. It is very timely that the issue of Good Governance has been selected to be the focal point of the proposed institution. Whether in Sri Lanka or other parts of the world, people have an innate aspiration for justice and equity in public life. With the setting up of the South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG ) in Anuradhapura, we can have greater optimism that public institutions that reflect the people's aspirations will be realized through the practices of Good Governance
Dr. Jehan Perera,
Message from Dr. Jehan Perera,
Executive Director, National Peace Council, Colombo