Sri Lanka

The Biggest Lessons Nepal Will Take Away From This Tragedy

There has never been any doubt that Nepal is sitting on one of the most seismically active areas in South Asia. The fact that, when the big one struck, damages and deaths would be catastrophic has been known for years.

Sri Lanka’s Development Goals Fall Short on Gender Equality

When Rosy Senanayake, Sri Lanka’s minister of state for child affairs, addressed the U.N. Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in New York last month, she articulated both the successes and shortcomings of gender equality in a country which prided itself electing the world’s first female head of government: Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike in July 1960.

Effective War Crimes Inquiry Could Heal Sri Lanka’s Old Wounds

Jessi Joygeswaran seems like your typical 23-year-old young woman. She has an infectious smile and laughs a lot when she talks. Like many other young women anywhere in the world, her life is full of dreams.

Human Rights in Asia and the Pacific: A “Regressive” Trend, Says Amnesty International

The cradle of some of the world’s most ancient civilizations, home to four out of the planet’s six billion people, and a battleground for the earth’s remaining resources, Asia and the Pacific are poised to play a defining role in international affairs in the coming decade.

Better to Die at Sea, than Languish in Poverty

Weerasinghearachilage Ruwan Rangana had it all planned out last year in September: the big break that would change his life and those of his extended family had finally arrived.

Sri Lanka Gets Temporary Reprieve Over U.N. Report on War Crimes Charges

The 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC), responding to a request by the newly-elected government in Colombo, has deferred the release of a key U.N. report on human rights violations and war crimes charges against the Sri Lankan armed forces and Tamil separatists who fought a devastating decades-long battle which ended in 2009.

Maimed by Conflict, Forgotten by Peace: Life Through the Eyes of the War-Disabled

It is a hot, steamy day in Sri Lanka’s northwestern Mannar District. Mid-day temperatures are reaching 34 degrees Celsius, and the tarred road is practically melting under the sun.

Women Pick Up the Slack as Fishing Declines on India’s Southern Coasts

Geeta Selvaraj and a few other women take turns to prepare meals with just one large gas cooker in a tiny shop.

Sri Lanka Seeks U.S.-U.N. Backing for Domestic Probe of War Crimes Charges

Sri Lanka’s newly-installed government, which has pledged to set up its own domestic tribunal to investigate war crimes charges, is seeking political and moral support both from the United States and the United Nations to stall a possible international investigation.

From Bullets to Ballots: The Face of Sri Lanka’s Former War Zone

In four months’ time, Sri Lanka will mark the sixth anniversary of the end of its bloody civil conflict. Ever since government armed forces declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 19, 2009, the country has savored peace after a generation of war.

Where the Right to Information and Good Governance Go Hand in Hand

On Jan. 8, 2009, the Sri Lankan media suffered a debilitating attack.

From Bullets to Ballots: The Face of Sri Lanka’s Former War Zone

In four months’ time, Sri Lanka will mark the sixth anniversary of the end of its bloody civil conflict. Ever since government armed forces declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 19, 2009, the country has savored peace after a generation of war.

Papal Visit Rekindles Hopes in Former War Zone

Jessi Jogeswaran, a 20-year-old woman from Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna district, waited over six hours with 18 friends in the sweltering heat just to get a glimpse of Pope Francis on Jan. 14.

In Sri Lanka Cartoonists Aren’t Killed – They’re Disappeared

Scenes from the brutal shooting of 12 journalists with the French satirical weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’ have monopolised headlines worldwide ever since two men opened fire in the magazine’s Paris office on Jan. 7.

Sri Lanka’s Minorities Choose “Unknown Angel” Over “Known Devil”

When the initial results started trickling in a little after midnight on Jan. 9, it still wasn’t clear exactly which way the country would swing: had Sri Lanka’s 15 million eligible voters thrown in their lot with incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a third term? Or would the desire for change put common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the helm?

Spectre of Violence Hangs Over Sri Lanka Polls

As 14.5 million Sri Lankans prepare to select their next leader, there is growing fear that violence could mar the Jan. 8 elections, billed as the closest electoral contest in the island’s history.

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.

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.

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