By now, the tale has become almost mundane: first the rains remain elusive, refusing to quench the parched earth. Then, without warning, they fall in such torrents that they leave scores dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless, plus a heavy bill in accrued damages.
Stuck in mid-day rush hour traffic, commuters packed tight into a tin-roofed bus in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, peer expectantly up at the sky that is beating a savage heat down on the city.
It has been five years since Sri Lanka’s brutal three-decades-long civil conflict came to an end in May 2009, but for the country’s youth, true national reconciliation is still a long way off.
Between 2008 and 2013, when Myanmar remained largely closed off to the rest of the world, it suffered a terrible toll at the hands of nature that remained largely unknown.
Kyaw Kyaw Aung is just 22, but already has dark memories of days when information, sometimes of the mundane kind, could land you in a dark cell for a very long time in Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation that was under military rule for decades.
Five years after the end of a bloody and protracted civil war, Sri Lanka has begun its first survey of families of the missing in order to assess their needs.
For over a quarter of a century Uhla Min has lived under the spell of “The Lady”, the popular nickname for Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Sung Suu Kyi.
As Sri Lanka steadfastly refuses any external inquiry into human rights abuses allegedly committed when the government pushed a military victory over Tamil rebels in its decades-long sectarian conflict, right groups say the global community is left with no option but to push for an international investigation.
Sri Lanka is heading into a major crisis under extreme heat, as the rains stay away. Fears are growing of power cuts and interruption to the water supply because reservoir levels are running scarily low.
Sri Lanka’s war-battered Northern Province had reason to celebrate when the results of a countrywide exam were announced last December. Of the 16,604 students from the province who sat for the exam, 63.8 percent secured the required marks for entry into prestigious national universities.
Four thousand HIV infections in a population of 20 million should not be a difficult figure to manage. But experts in Sri Lanka say social customs and strict laws are hindering them from carrying out prevention and awareness campaigns among high-risk groups.
When the American Centre in Colombo held a memorial event honouring the late South African President Nelson Mandela, the first few questions at the question and answer session had nothing to do with the great freedom fighter.
For years, it was the power chamber at the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva - the Director General’s Conference Room, more popularly known as the Green Room, where a handful of delegates would gather for important discussions and meetings.
When the first trains in almost two and a half decades started running through this war-ravaged town in Sri Lanka in mid-September, Sinngamuththu Jesudasan could not resist the temptation to go and have a look - repeatedly.
The battle might have been over four long years ago, but for the women in Sri Lanka’s former conflict zones in the northern and eastern provinces, the war continues.