Sri Lanka

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.

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.

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.

OPINION: From Elephants to Blue Whales, Sri Lanka Leads the Way on Biodiversity

Sri Lanka will host the World Biodiversity Congress (WBC) Nov. 24-27. Given its long and active history of preserving biodiversity, it would be most appropriate for Sri Lanka to be the next host of this global event, which also marks the U.N.'s Decade on Biodiversity.

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.

Water: A Defining Issue for Post-2015

A gift of nature, or a valuable commodity? A human right, or a luxury for the privileged few? Will the agricultural sector or industrial sector be the main consumer of this precious resource? Whatever the answers to these and many more questions, one thing is clear: that water will be one of the defining issues of the coming decade.

On Sri Lanka’s Tea Estates, Maternal Health Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

A mud path winds its up way uphill, offering views on either side of row after row of dense bushes and eventually giving way to a cluster of humble homes, surrounded by ragged, playful children.

Why Principle Matters at UN Human Rights Council

The killings of hundreds of civilians, including scores of children, in Gaza – whose only fault was to have been born on the wrong side of the wall – was a major point of contention at the United Nations Human Rights Council at the end of July.

Innovation Offers Hope in Sri Lanka’s Poverty-Stricken North

In this dust bowl of a village deep inside Sri Lanka’s former conflict zone, locals will sometimes ask visitors to rub their palms on the ground and watch their skin immediately take on a dark bronze hue, proof of the fertility of the soil.

Human Development Report Finds South Asia’s Poor on a Knife’s Edge

Millions still live in poverty and even those who have gained the security of the middle-income bracket could relapse into poverty due to sudden changes to their economic fortunes in South Asia, the latest annual Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) revealed.

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