Sri Lanka 2017

Community Mobilization and Political Participation

Human Rights


To build the capacity of human rights defenders to support victims in the pursuit of justice, accountability, and truth seeking. Project activities will include training human rights defenders in the concepts of democracy, civic engagement, and international human rights mechanisms and supporting their efforts to mobilize victims around prevailing concerns and violations.


Enhancing Civic Education for High School Students

Social Scientists’ Association


To build knowledge and dialogue around issues of democracy, peacebuilding, and reconciliation among educators and high school students. The organization will develop a student friendly, web-based supplement to existing high school civics education textbooks on the topics of democracy and human rights, justice, peaceful conflict resolution, and local government. It will train civics teachers on integrating the supplement into the existing curriculum.


Human Rights Documentation and Advocacy

Human Rights


To document human rights violations committed during the war and post-war periods and advocate for justice and accountability. Project activities will include gathering, cataloging, and analyzing data on atrocities in the north and east, and distributing it to interested entities. Feedback to individuals and bodies will help solicit ideas on the development of a transitional justice mechanism.


Human Rights Documentation and Training

Human Rights


To build the capacity of human rights defenders to participate in the transitional justice process and document human rights violations in pursuit of remedies and redress. Activists will become familiar with transitional justice concepts, international human rights law, and documentation. Subsequently, the grantee and trained activists will meet community members to discuss the current reform process as well as ongoing human rights violations.


Improving Legal Literacy on Land Rights

Law and Society Trust


To improve legal literacy and promote the implementation of existing laws and ordinances on land rights. The organization will maintain a nationwide network of groups focused on land rights, document land grabbing, train government officials and citizens on land laws and policies, and advocate for new, equitable laws.


Mobilize Families of the Disappeared in Support of Reconciliation and Justice

Families of the Disappeared


To raise awareness about the “disappeared,” both Tamil and Sinhalese. The association will commemorate the lives of disappeared citizens and raise awareness of human rights violations experienced in the context of the ethnic conflict and leftist insurrections. The association will highlight the continuation of disappearances, impunity in past cases, and efforts by victims’ families to seek redress. The program will also help to build alliances between families across ethnic lines as a platform for broader efforts toward reconciliation.


Parliamentary Tracking Tool for Accountability and Good Governance

Verite Research Pvt. Ltd.


To promote accountability and good governance through the application of a web-based parliamentary tracking tool. The organization will refine and maintain an online platform that documents the biographical information and political activities of members of Parliament and conduct outreach to promote its usage by the media and civil society. Using its data, the organization will contribute, through articles and other media, to the political debate around the development and implementation of policies and legislation.


Promoting Citizen Participation and Local Government Accountability in Estate Tamil Communities

Uva Shakthi Foundation


To promote citizen participation and local government accountability in Sri Lanka’s estate Tamil communities. The organization will conduct trainings on human rights and democracy to raise awareness among Indian Origin Tamils working in the estate sector of their roles and responsibilities as citizens and encourage their full participation in Sri Lankan society.


Promoting Freedom of Expression through Citizen Journalism

Centre for Policy Alternatives, (Guarantee) Ltd.


To share information and spur debate around democratic governance, human rights, and other critical political issues. The organization will operate Groundviews, one of Sri Lanka’s leading alternative media platforms, which serves as an outlet for activists, bloggers, and journalists to disseminate and discuss issues of democracy and human rights.


Promoting Political Participation and National Reconciliation



To increase youth participation in the political process and involvement in national reconciliation. Through political and civic education trainings as well as skills development, youth network members will acquire the tools necessary to deepen their involvement in the civic life of their communities. The grantee will also consolidate the support of southern civil society organizations to ensure lasting peace and political solutions.


Promoting Youth Involvement in Reconciliation

The Social Architects


To deepen understanding of transitional justice mechanisms, the right to information, and the multiple experiences and perspectives in conflict-affected areas. In parallel with the government’s truth and reconciliation process, the organization will work to bridge the gap between ethnic communities, which have been weakened by deep-rooted suspicion and competing political narratives. It will also work with government officers to ensure transitional justice mechanisms deliver for the people.


Public Education for Informed Citizen Engagement

Janawaboda Kendraya


To build knowledge and create opportunities for citizens to become more engaged in the political process at the local level. The grantee will undertake a public education effort in 11 districts that incorporates leadership development and community training on democracy, human rights, and good governance; moderated discussions; and street theater in an effort to engage citizens and officials in the political life of their community.


Seeking Redress for Victims of Human Rights Violations

Centre for Human Rights and Development


To raise awareness about and seek redress for victims of human rights violations. The organization will provide legal aid in cases of human rights violations, including rape, torture, and detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, provisions of which are contrary to international human rights standards. In addition, the organization will conduct advocacy and public awareness campaigns focused on a more transparent judicial system and on repealing the PTA and other policies that infringe on civil liberties and human rights.


Seeking Transitional Justice, Reform, and Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka

The International Working Group on Sri Lanka Ltd.


To seek accountability and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka. The organization will coordinate an awareness raising and advocacy campaign in conjunction with Sri Lankan civil society activists to mobilize international support for human rights and democracy. It will convene strategy and capacity building sessions for activists engaged in the advancement of democratic reforms.


Seeking Transitional Justice, Reform, and Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka

The International Working Group on Sri Lanka Ltd.

Supplement: $50,000

To support post-war transitional justice, reform, and reconciliation. The organization will coordinate a series of capacity building, strategy, and awareness and advocacy related activities in conjunction with Sri Lankan civil society activists to mobilize domestic and international support for meaningful transitional justice efforts.


Strengthening Civil Society Networks for Active Political Participation

Viluthu, Ltd.


To raise awareness of political, social, and economic rights, provide a safe venue for discussion, and empower participants to take action on issues of concern. The grantee will organize a series of workshops and debate competitions focused primarily on engaging youth, including university students, and women’s network leaders on democracy, good governance, and transitional justice. It will continue to work with target groups it has been cultivating through its work over several years.


Strengthening Democracy through Increased Citizen Engagement in the Reform Process

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To enhance the business community’s ability to promote inclusive economic policies and informed democratic dialogue as well as strengthen institutions of public accountability. The center will bring together business associations from across the country, representing different ethnic and religious communities, and identify policy issues they can advocate for together. Its efforts will support progress towards democratic consolidation and economic revitalization in Sri Lanka and facilitate transparent economic policy reform.


Strengthening Political Leadership and Subnational Governance

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To improve the responsiveness and effectiveness of subnational government in Sri Lanka. The institute will equip local government civil servants with the skills to improve public outreach and service delivery, and empower local political party leaders to engage citizens in between elections and serve as effective representatives of the public’s concerns. 


Strengthening Youth Leadership and Civic Participation in Eastern Sri Lanka

Trincomalee District Youth Development – AHAM


To strengthen the capacity of youth to participate in the civic life of their communities. The organization will train youth in leadership development skills and basic principles of democracy and human rights to prepare them for involvement in civic life and to assume leadership roles in their communities in Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts.


Supporting Subnational Governance

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To improve the knowledge of political parties and prospective candidates on voter priorities and the governance roles and responsibilities of municipal councilors. The organization will use stakeholder analyses and focus group discussions in three provinces to assist local authorities in the development of a subnational governance reform agenda. 


Tools for Civic and Political Engagement in the North and East

Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research


To provide university students with the tools and knowledge necessary to strengthen civic and political engagement. The organization will conduct a series of workshops on national-level policies, such as constitutional reform and transitional justice, and regional- and community-level practices that spur open dialogue to advance meaningful policy reform.

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