Working to secure the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples

Minority Rights Group International campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard.

This information pack has been produced with the support of E4D.

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Rights and Reconciliation for Women in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, 2015
Reconciliation is a fragrant flower
Reconciliation is a fraud
Flower? ... fraud? … flower? … fraud?

178 women affected by war in Sri Lanka used drawing and poetry to explore their feeling about the war, their losses, reconciliation and the future. This project highlights, through their art, the hopes and fears of minority women and their thoughts on the possibility of reconciliation.

Chapter One

Reconciliation is on everyone’s lips in Sri Lanka. But there is still little agreement on what it really means, particularly for those most affected by the conflict – Sri Lanka’s minority women. Today, years after the formal end of the conflict in 2009, many still face chronic insecurity, protracted displacement, limited livelihood options and the […]

1 min read

Love is reconciliation
Relationship is reconciliation
Reconciliation is like a fragrant flower
Pleading you, reconciliation, come to us

Christian woman, 24, Mannar

Chapter Two

Meaningful efforts towards reconciliation must involve all the different groups – Tamils and Sinhalese; Buddhists, Christians and Muslims; men and women – to be sustainable. MRG’s previous research had highlighted the absence of a platform for minority women to articulate their thoughts and concerns on the country’s future. To address this, a pioneering project was […]

6 min read

Chapter Three

Most participants did not feel that they were participating or involved in any reconciliation process, nor that they were ready to do so – in many cases, their understanding of reconciliation was overshadowed or suppressed by the trauma they had suffered during the last stages of the war and their ongoing difficulties. Most of the […]

5 min read

Chapter Four

MRG began working in Sri Lanka in 2009, implementing capacity building programmes for minority activists across the country. In addition, because staff members working for many human rights organizations were not allowed into Sri Lanka, it was one of the few international organizations to publish a number of first-hand research reports on human rights violations, focusing particularly on minorities.

1 min read

Chapter Five

Sri Lanka’s 30-year-long civil war ended on 29 May 2009 when the government declared victory against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who had been fighting for a separate state for minority Tamils in the country’s north and east. However, the formal end of the conflict left behind countless military and civilian casualties, as […]

3 min read

Chapter Six

This timeline spans the last four decades in Sri Lanka, from the foundation of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1976 through to the surprise defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the beginning of 2015.