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Asian-German Sports Exchange Program

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Asian-German Sports Exchange Program

German students giving swimming training to children at a Peace Village in Sri Lanka

Asian-German Sports Exchange Program (A.G.S.E.P.), is a non-governmental organisation operating in the development sector in Sri Lanka with a partner office in Essen, Germany. A.G.S.E.P. describes itself as Government Associated Organisation because of its consultancy status to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Disaster Relief Services and the Ministry for Rehabilitation & District Development.

Profile

A.G.S.E.P. works with volunteers; mainly with students from leading German universities doing undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the fields of economics, political science, social science, engineering, sport and other disciplines. The Asian German Sports Exchange Programme (A.G.S.E.P.)has been conducting sport events and international exchanges between Sri Lankan and European sport teams since 1989. The organisation is based in Marawila, in rural western Sri Lanka, and was founded by the current CEO of the programme, Dr. Dietmar Döring, who at that time was the national coach of the table tennis team. Dr. Döring saw an opportunity to use sport events as an avenue to enhance tourism and the relationships between estranged ethnic communities in Sri Lanka. The philosophy of A.G.S.E.P. is that sport is an ideal way of connecting people and transcending social, cultural, ethnic and religious cleavages. Sport provides a neutral platform for all participants, who are able to experience and learn from each other in a playful and open atmosphere.

A.G.S.E.P. intends to assist the divided ethnic groups of Sri Lanka to find peace by exposing the children of the island to children of other ethnic groups as part of sporting events.[1][2]

History

German university students with Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena and senior LTTE members at a tsunami siren distribution program in Kilinochchi in 2005.

The German Social education worker Dietmar Doering founded A.G.S.E.P. He was a national coach for the table tennis team of Sri Lanka at that time. Against the background of a long lasting civil war, A.G.S.E.P. defines since 1989 integrative sport events as peaceful intergroup sport encounters that popularise social values such as intercultural togetherness, respect, courage, commitment, and appreciation through active participation and exchange. Integrative sport events are planned, organised, implemented and staged in co-operation with the three major ethnic groups on the island, the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims.

Activities

Dietmar Doering and AGSEP students imported more than five million US dollars worth of medicines directly from Germany and distributed them to areas affected by the 2004 tsunami.[3][4]

AGSEP organized the International Run for Peace in Sri Lanka in its bid to promote a lasting peace in the war-torn island.[5]

AGSEP, with the Princess Diana Institute of Peace, organized a dinner in 2005 to help create awareness on landmine issues[6]

International Games in Sri Lanka

AGSEP organises games in Sri Lanka where competitors from various countries used to take part.[7]




Literature

Justice Christopher Weeramantry (Third from Right), a former vice president of the International Court of Justice with Dietmar Doering (Fourth from Right), the founder of the Asian-German Sports Exchange Program, Rajkumar Kanagasingam (Extreme Right), the author of the book German Memories in Asia, German universities' internship students and others after a fellowship at Hilton-Colombo in 2006.

German Memories in Asia is a collection of memories by the author Rajkumar Kanagasingam, in his discussions with the German university students, who have been volunteering in Asia under internship programs; and a collection facts by the author by further research on the discussed subjects.

It narrates Asian and European historical events, especially the German, since the Roman Empire era and about the Germans in Germany, Latin America, North America, East European countries, Australia and elsewhere in the world and their migrations, life styles, encounters and assimilation since ancient times.

It analyses the Franco-Prussian War and the Otto von Bismarck's diplomacy, Austria & the divided German states, German-Brazilians today, the Pennsylvania's Amish county & the Mennonite communities, the German colonies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Volga Germans in Russia under Bolshevist atrocities and the First and Second World War issues of Kaiser William II and his diplomatic chaos, Firebombing on Dresden, Danube Swabians and their expulsion, the U.S. President Gen. Dwight D Eisenhower in the crisis of starving German POWs and more.

It explores the author's encounters in his early days in the war-ravaged Jaffna in the northern part of the Indian Ocean's war-torn island and then in a tsunami relief mission there with German students.

The book is a memorable testimony for German students' life and fashion in Asia.

References

  1. ^ Senaratne, Chula (August 9, 2006). "Sri Lanka, gets an Inter-Cultural Peace Sports Centre". UPF/IIFWP. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  2. ^ "Asien German Sports Exchange Programme (A.G.S.E.P.)" (in German). praktikum.info. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  3. ^ Kanagasingam, Rajkumar (December 6, 2005). "German hamlet of Asia". Sri Lanka Daily News. The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  4. ^ Kanagasingam, Rajkumar (January 19, 2005). "A visit to the tsunami-swept North". Sri Lanka Daily News. The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  5. ^ "Three thousand Lankan athletes for International Run for Peace". Sri Lanka Daily News. The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. June 2, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  6. ^ Davis, Stacy Bernard (February 2006). "Fifth Annual Night of A Thousand Dinners". SAFE PASSAGE: A Newsletter for the Humanitarian Mine Action and Small Arms/Light Weapons Communities, February 2006. US State Department. Archived from the original on 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  7. ^ "Sri Lanka to host Masters Games - Daily News 02.11.2010". Sri Lanka Daily News. Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka. November 2, 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 

External links

  • AGSEP Website (German)
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