Stories written by Amantha Perera
Amantha Perera is a journalist and foreign correspondent based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He covers Sri Lanka for a variety of international media outlets. | Twitter |

OPINION: Tensions Rise as Sri Lankans Prepare for Historic Polls

These days, the national greeting in Sri Lanka is a simple question: “So, what do you think?”Everyone from van drivers waiting to pick kids up from school, to mechanics repairing vehicles, to barbers cutting your hair have only this question on their lips.

Sri Lanka Still in Search of a Comprehensive Disaster Management Plan

About six months after a massive tsunami slammed the island nation of Sri Lanka on Dec. 26, 2004, large plumes of smoke could be frequently seen snaking skywards from the beach near the village of Sainathimaruthu, just east of Kalmunai town, about 300 km from the capital, Colombo.

Poverty and Fear Still Rankle, Ten Years After the Tsunami

It took just 30 minutes for the killer waves to leave 350,000 dead and half a million displaced. Less than one hour for 100,000 houses to be destroyed and 200,000 people to be stripped of their livelihoods.

Elections Offer Little Solace to Sri Lanka’s Poor

Priyantha Wakvitta is used to seeing his adopted city, Colombo, transform into a landscape of bright sparkling lights and window dressing towards the end of the year.

Will Myanmar’s ‘Triple Transition’ Help Eradicate Crushing Poverty?

Myanmar is never out of the news for long. This has been the case since a popular uprising challenged military rule in 1988. For over two decades, the country was featured in mainstream media primarily as one unable to cope with its own internal contradictions, a nation crippled by military rule.

Will Myanmar’s ‘Triple Transition’ Help Eradicate Crushing Poverty?

Myanmar is never out of the news for long. This has been the case since a popular uprising challenged military rule in 1988. For over two decades, the country was featured in mainstream media primarily as one unable to cope with its own internal contradictions, a nation crippled by violence.

Building Disaster Resilience Amidst Rampant Poverty

Of the thousands of landslide-prone villages he has visited and worked with, R M S Bandara, a high-ranking official from Sri Lanka’s National Building Resources Organisation (NBRO), says only one has made him sit up and take note.

Lacklustre Early Warning System Brings Tragedy to a Languid Mountainside

When early warning systems fail, death comes quickly to unsuspecting victims of natural disasters. It is a reality that millions of Sri Lankans have experienced repeatedly in the last decade, and yet those responsible for preventing human fatalities continue to make the same mistakes.

They Say the Land is ‘Uninhabited’ but Indigenous Communities Disagree

Disregarding the rights of indigenous people to their traditional lands is costing companies millions of dollars each year, and costing communities themselves their lives.

A Jungle Shrine Awaits its Blessed Moment

Rising out of a thick forest about 17 km from the nearest main road, the Madhu Church is a symbol of spiritual harmony and tranquility. When the wind blows you hear the leaves rustle. Other times a solemn silence hangs in the air. Old-timers say that once, almost an entire generation ago, the grass grew six feet high in the church compound, and elephants wandered through it.

New Trains, New Hopes, Old Anguish

The kids of Kodikaman, a dusty village straddling the newly laid railway line in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna District, enjoy a special treat these days.

New Trains, New Hopes, Old Anguish

The kids of Kodikaman, a dusty village straddling the newly laid railway line in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna District, enjoy a special treat these days.

Thirsty Land, Hungry People

Gazing out over the parched earth of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, one might think these farmlands have not seen water in years. In fact, this is not too far from the truth.

Thirsty Land, Hungry People

Gazing out over the parched earth of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, one might think these farmlands have not seen water in years. In fact, this is not too far from the truth.

Blistering Drought Leaves the Poorest High and Dry

The last time there was mud on his village roads was about a year ago, says Murugesu Mohanabavan, a farmer from the village of Karachchi, situated about 300 km north of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.

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