Sri Lankan-American winner of a Genius Grant champions immigrant children
Academics / Activists / Lawyers / The Sunday Times

Sri Lankan-American winner of a Genius Grant champions immigrant children

When Ahilan Arulanantham heard that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation had named him a recipient of the $625,000 “Genius Grant,” one of the first things he thought about was how much he would like to spend some of it on supporting human rights work in Sri Lanka. Since the announcement was made … Continue reading

Highrise
Activists / Adda / Aid Workers / Businesspeople / Commonwealth Writers / Researchers

Highrise

Let me begin with this apartment, where a grocery store and six people are all crammed into 400 square feet in the Methsara Uyana high-rise. The people fit themselves around the groceries, which occupy all of the living room and most of the kitchen. Sleeping arrangements are flexible, and visitors and wet laundry must both … Continue reading

Chandraguptha Thenuwara: The End of Fear
Activists / Artists / Open Magazine

Chandraguptha Thenuwara: The End of Fear

It was 33 years ago, but Chandraguptha Thenuwara still remembers the group of men stopping the bus and clambering on. They had a seemingly bizarre demand, going from passenger to passenger, insisting that he or she say the Sinhalese words for pen and bucket – pǣna, bāldiya. Tamil tongues twisted different around these syllables, making … Continue reading

Sri Lankan Tamils around the world have built one of the world’s largest online libraries
Academics / Activists / Archivists / Scroll.In

Sri Lankan Tamils around the world have built one of the world’s largest online libraries

Seran Sivananthamoorthy is only 25 years old which is why his knowledge of the Jaffna Public Library is limited to memory and anecdote. The library with some 95,000 volumes including the only original copy of the Yalpana Vaipavamalai or the History of the Kingdom of Jaffna was set alight by a mob in 1981 as … Continue reading

Shahidul Alam: The search for Kalpana Chakma
Activists / Commonwealth Writers / Photographers

Shahidul Alam: The search for Kalpana Chakma

Shahidul Alam has long been gripped by the life of a woman he has never met. It’s been two decades since Kalpana Chakma was abducted, but Shahidul refuses to forget her. Standing at the threshold of his latest exhibition,Kalpana’s Warriors, the Bangladeshi photographer pauses for a moment. In the room beyond is the third in … Continue reading