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Sri Lanka Centers

Page history last edited by Jeff Plantilla 8 months, 1 week ago


Sri Lanka Centers


Known Centers based in Sri Lanka


If your center is not in this list and you want to be added, please contact HURIGHTS OSAKA and we will assist you.






Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)


Year Established:1997


Short Historical Background


The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) as formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. The primary role envisaged for the Centre in the field of public policy is a pro-active and interventionary one, aimed at the dissemination and advocacy of policy alternatives for non-violent conflict resolution and democratic governance. Accordingly, the work of the Centre 84 involves a major research component through which the policy alternatives advocated are identified and developed.





CPA aims

1) To contribute to public accountability in governance through the strengthening of the awareness in society of all aspects of public policy and policy implementation.

2) To make inputs into the public policy-making and implementation process in the constitutional, legislative and administrative spheres to ensure responsible and good governance.

3) To propose to the government and parliament and all other policy-making bodies and institutions, constructive policy alternatives aimed at strengthening and safeguarding democracy, pluralism, the Rule of Law, human rights and social justice.

4) To focus attention on the social and political consequences of development.

5) To contribute towards the conflict resolution process in Sri Lanka and the South Asian region, so as to strengthen institution and capacity - building for democratic governance in multi-ethnic and pluralist societies.



Programs and Activities


• Peace In the fulfillment of its mandate, CPA’s programming focuses on the mutually reinforcing areas of democratic governance and peace.
The Center’s activities in the area of peace building includes:
»» Policy oriented analyses of the current situation in Sri Lanka
»» Applied and academic research into conflict and its transformation
»» Proactive engagement at all levels (Tracks I, II and III) of conflict transformation and peace building processes
»» Dimensions of human security specifically looking at human rights and humanitarian issues
»» Implementing strategies for peace and governance reform using traditional and new media
»» Polling on public attitudes towards peace, conflict and governance
»» Conducting seminars and symposiums related to multi-level and multi-track peace processes, and current and comparative situations on conflict and peace.
»» Peace advocacy and outreach activities with media, local civic organizations and institutions.
»» Liaising with national and international organizations engaged in facilitating/mediating a negotiated settlement to the ethnic conflict.
»» Conducting research on peace related issues with a view to informing policymakers and the general public in order to increase public debate.
• Governance In the fulfillment of its mandate, CPA’s programming focuses on the mutually reinforcing areas of democratic governance and peace. Governance encompasses: Legal reform, draft legislation and the use of constitutional reform for the transformation of conflict and peacebuilding Critical analyses of the law and policy making prcess Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on fundamental rights as well as pre-enacment judicial review on legislation Implementing strategies for peace and governance reform using traditional and new media
• Public Interest Litigation Public Interest Litigation encompasses cases on fundamental rights as well as pre-enactment judicial review on legislation.
• Survey Research In the fulfilment of its mandate, the survey unit of the CPA has been conducting public opinion polling on a large range of social and political issues in order to provide a channel through which the general public can voice their concern on issues that matter in their day-to-day lives. Thereby, CPA’s polling is instrumental in empowering the citizens of Sri Lanka to influence policy makers even in between elections.




  • • Media Monitor (series, Sinhala)
    •  Fiscal And Financial Arrangements In A Federal Sri Lanka - Some Issues For Discussion (English And Sinhala)
    • Land and Property Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (English and Sinhala)
    • Moot Point Legal Review (annual since 1997)
  • The Right To Vote And The Law Relating To Election Petitions
  • Role Of The Ombudsman (English, Sinhala And Tamil)
  • Law, Human Rights And Hiv/Aids, A Guide (English, Sinhala and Tamil)
  • Peace Analysis - in Sinhala
  • The Journey of Federal Idea in Sri Lanka (1926 - 2005) (English, Sinhala and Tamil)
  • Federal Idea: An Introduction to the Federal Systems in Canada, India, Belgium and Switzerland - in Sinhala
  • Sri Lanka's Ethnic Problem and Solutions (English and Sinhala)
  • Informal Dispute Resolution in the North East and Puttalam (English and Sinhala)
  • Peace Analysis (Sinhala)




Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)

24/2, 28th Lane, Off Flower Road

Colombo 7, Sri Lanka

ph (9411) 2301634 / 2565304-6, 94-11-5552746 /8, Ext. 102

fax (9411) 4714460

e-mail:cpa_sara[a]sri.lanka.net, sara[a]cpalanka.org






Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR)


Year Established:1991


Short Historical Background


The Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR) is a university-based organization located in the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo. Its mandate is education and research in human rights. The CSHR enjoys its status within the University system, while maintaining considerable autonomy.


For the past sixteen years, the CSHR has been a key player in building up a human rights culture in Sri Lanka. It has been responsible for the successful introduction of Human Rights Education to various social and professional groups in the country at different levels, expanding its reach geographically. While continuing its work in the conflict-free areas of Sri Lanka, it gradually strengthened its network in the conflict-affected areas as well.




CSHR aims

・ To provide its target groups with not only an understanding of their rights, but also the rights of all peoples, their duties, obligations and violations of rights.

・ To educate and sensitize persons to their rights and obligations;

・ To research and add to the sum total of knowledge in human rights;

・ To gather and disseminate information for the use of students or activists in the field of human rights.


Programs and activities


a. Outreach education program

- Human Rights Education Program for Schools

- Human Rights Education Program for the Community

- Human Rights Broadcasting Program

- Good Governance Program

- Human Rights Education for the Armed Forces

- Human Rights Education for the Police

- Incorporating Human Rights into Secondary School Curricula

- Human Rights Education for Pre-Service Teachers

- Human Rights Education for Prison Officers and Inmates

- Project on the Rights of Differently Abled Persons

- Human Rights Programs for the Plantation Sector

b. University courses/training

- Human Rights Practical Training Program for Young Lawyers

- Human Rights Internship Program

- Human Rights Awareness for University Students

- Human Rights Awareness for Academic and Non-academic Staff

- Distance Learning Diploma in Human Rights and Peace Studies

c. Seminars and workshops

- Workshops for Media Personnel

- Human Rights Day Program

d. Research

e. Information Dissemination

- Information Unit


Special Concerns


CSHR's programs cater to the following groups:


- Primary and Secondary school children

- University students

- Pre-service teachers

- Academic and non-academic staff of universities

- Community groups

- Members of the Army, Navy and Air Forces

- Members of the Police

- Plantation sector

- Prisoners and prison staff

- Differently-abled persons

- Various professional groups, i.e., doctors, lawyers

- Local government officers at various levels

- Media personnel




A. CSHR E-Newsletter


B. Other publications

  • Protecting Freedom of and From Religion: questioning the Law's Ability to Protect Against Unethical Conversions in Sri Lanka by Alexandra Owens
  • Non Violent Conflict Resolution: a Handbook for Trainers (Sinhala)
  • Non Violent Conflict Resolution: a Handbook for Trainers(Tamil)
  • Catching the Big Fish: The Introduction of the Doctrine of Command Responsibility in Sri Lankan Legislation by Nehama Jayewardene
  • Parental and State Responsibility for Children: the Development of South African and Sri Lankan Laws by Prof.Sharya Scharenguivel
  • CSHR Human Rights Journal. Vol 1 Issues 1 and 2 (2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Sambashanai Vol 1 (2007)
  • Sri Lanka: HIV/AIDS
  • Human Rights and the Unconvicted Prisoner: A Study on Welikada Remand Prison
  • The Vulnerable Child: Research Report on Institutions Which Protect Children's Rights
  • Choosing Rice Over Risk: Rights, Resettlement & Displaced Women, by Sophia Elek
  • Human Rights Education & Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka, by Sophia Elek & Alan Keenan
  • Handbook for Community Leaders (Sinhala/English)
  • A Study Guide to Human Rights (Sinhala)
  • A Practical Guide for School Centres on Human Rights (Sinhala)
  • A Political Science Approach to Human Rights, by Prof. Laksiri Fernando
  • Arunodhaya: a handbook for the Armed Forces, vols. 1 and 2.



Other Information


Information Unit


The Information Unit has relevant and diverse sources of information on human rights and services for staff and students of the Faculties of Law, Arts and other Faculties and the general public. The latter includes members of other organizations working in the field of human rights and allied subjects. Foreign visitors also continued to use the Information Unit, particularly those visiting Sri Lanka temporarily for research purposes.




Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR)

Faculty of Law, University of Colombo

Reid Avenue, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka

ph (94 11) 2589118, 2500879, 2598462, 2503017

fax (94 11) 2598462

e-mail: cshr[a]sltnet.lk






Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR-UP)

- University of Peradeniya (CSHR-UP)

Year Established: 2002


Short Historical Background


The Centre for the Study of Human Rights - University of Peradeniya (CSHR-UP) is a separate entity attached to the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. It functions under the purview of the University Senate, similar in status to other centres that already exist at the university.
The mandate of CSHR-UP allows it to plan and execute its own programs, promote and assist other governmental and non-governmental institutions to carry out relevant programs and coordinate
and monitor the activities undertaken by these institutional partners.



CHR-UP aims to promote knowledge of human rights through multi-disciplinary educational and research activities involving the university community and the public.


Programs and Activities

CHR-UP conducts two human rights courses namely Certificate course in human rights and Diploma in human rights under the academic supervision of the University Senate. At the university level, CHR-UP undertakes such activities as strengthening of existing human rights teaching programs, organizing Guest Lectures, awareness and Training of Trainers workshops, research and publications. The outreach activities of CHRUP are organized under three program headings, namely, the Public Awareness Programs, the Workplace Focused Programs and the Village and Estate level Programs.


Center for the Study of Human Rights
University of Peradeniya, Rikiligaskada Rd.
Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
ph 081-2386481, 081-2392634
email. cshr[a]pdn.ac.lk





Center for Women’s Research (CENWOR)

Year Established:1984

Short Historical Background

Concerned by the paucity of data to address the disadvantaged position of women, a group of academics, researchers and activists who were involved for several years in research and action-oriented programs relating to women joined together in 1984 to form the Centre for Women’s Research (CENWOR).

Commencing with policy and action-oriented research, CENWOR, over the years has expanded its work to include action programs, gender sensitization and training, information dissemination
and communication. It joined with other women’s groups to lobby and advocate for policy changes to secure women’s rights.

Its research studies encompassed almost all facets of gender issues and these findings were disseminated and shared widely through print and electronic media to enable likeminded organizations and individuals involved in gender issues to intervene as appropriate.
CENWOR has the following vision: Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.


CENWOR aims to promote research, training, lobbying, advocacy and monitoring gender-related issues in Sri Lanka.

Programs and Activities

CENWOR has four main programs:
• Policy and Action Oriented Research
Poverty - assesses the impact of on-going and future state and non-governmental organization (NGO) poverty alleviation programs on women
* Education and Training – identifies and assesses current market trends in skills development and their implications for women
* Health - conducts studies on women-centered reproductive health
* Violence against Women - focuses on gender-based violence such as rape, domestic violence, incest, sexual harassment, victims and perpetrators of violence and women prisoners
* Women in Situation of Armed Conflict-focuses on gender-specific constraints of women affected by the armed conflict
* Economic Participation – assesses the impact of macro economic and employment related policies on women - structural adjustment programs, agricultural settlements, industrial estates and
rural factories, overseas migration for employment, credit policies, career mobility, working conditions and the quality of life of women and their families.
* Decision-making - focuses on access of women to decisionmaking in the public and private sectors
* Database - develops databases on gender issues
* Information and Communication Technology (ICT) - focuses on gender dimensions of ICT
* Human Rights - monitors human rights violations from a gender perspective

* Social Change - focuses on situational analyses of women in selected communities/groups, and appraisal of social change including changing gender roles, attitudes and family structures
* Commissioned Research - participates in in-country and intercountry studies when requested.
• Information and Communication
In 1998, CENWOR pioneered in introducing ICT to women’s NGOs in Sri Lanka and setting community information resources centers. Since then, CENWOR has been in the forefront in addressing gender issues in ICT by undertaking research, advocacy, serving on policy bodies and introducing ICT to rural women’s organizations and establishing and popularizing community information centers to enable women to access information.
The core activities of the information program include the development of information resources and databases, documentation, dissemination of information through publications, videos, workshops,
seminars, conferences and the Internet. It also moderates a mailing list (women_sri_lanka@yahoogroups.com).
• Training and Gender Sensitization
• Advocacy, Lobbying and Networking


• Research results- books and studies
• Working papers
• Gender modules
• Workshop reports
• Bibliographies
• Supplementary readers



Centre for Women’s Research (CENWOR)
225/4 Kirula Road, Colombo-5, Sri Lanka
ph/fax (94-11) 236 9530; 250 2153; 236 8965

e-mail: cenwor[a]slt.lk
www.cenwor.lk; www.actnowsrilanka.org






Law & Society Trust - Sri Lanka


Year Established:1982


Short Historical Background

The Law & Society Trust (LST) LST works to fulfil its vision by utilizing rights-based strategies in research, documentation and advocacy to promote the full realization of the rule of law, justiciability of rights and public accountability. LST was founded in 1982 in Colombo by the late Dr Neelan Tiruchelvam and was subsequently incorporated in 1992 under the Companies Act No. 1982. LST, as a non-profit organization, is committed to improving public awareness on civil and political rights; social, economic and cultural rights; and human rights in conflict. It has played a leading role in promoting cooperation between government and society within South Asia on questions relating to human rights, democracy and minority protection and has participated in initiatives on developing global intellectual and policy agenda. LST has worked for almost three decades to end social inequity, secure justice and promote dignity for all. LST’s strengths are in its experience, knowledge and reputation sustained over the years among partners at community, national, regional and international levels.





LST aims to use rights-based strategies in research, documentation and advocacy in order to promote and protect human rights, enhance public accountability, and respect for the rule of law.





Civil & Political Rights Program - research on areas of human rights activism and training programs on human rights standards, law, evidentiary and procedural issues.


Economic, Social & Cultural Rights Program - combination of programs on a variety of social and economic rights, research and conduct high level meetings which include participation of key national and international decision-makers and publications.


Human Rights in Conflict Program - a combination of information dissemination, research and also working with other groups in order to attempt to influence decision-makers.


Internship Program - for all students interested in gaining experience in the fields of human rights and law. The internship includes engaging in research activities as well as active participation in organizing discussions and workshops.





• Rights consciousness and awareness-raising
• Socio-legal research
• Publications
• Workshops and seminars
• Legal education and skills training
• Networking and coalition building
• Resource & Documentation Centre The Resource and Documentation Centre holds almost nine thousand volumes of books and includes a rare collection of early Sri Lanka legal literature as well as contemporary material, such as the New Law Reports, Sri Lanka Law Reports, Legislative Enactments, Acts of Sri Lanka, the Parliamentary Debates and Government Gazettes. The reference collection is particularly rich in historical material related to the Sri Lankan legal system
• Referral services are available to users through contact with other libraries and queries are directed to human rights organizations like Nadesan Centre, Centre for Policy Alternatives, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Centre for Poverty Analysis and other information and documentation centers that can provide users with accurate and timely information.
• The Information and Documentation Unit of LST continues Current Awareness Services by sending out a list of new book acquisitions and contents of current journals on a monthly basis to the LST staff and those in the LST mailing list.




LST’s regular publications:
• LST Review (10 issues for the year, published since 1990)
• Sri Lanka: State of Human Rights (published since 1993)
• Appellate Law Recorder (quarterly, published since 2001) Some recent publications:
• The Quest for Redemption: The Story of the Northern Muslims – Final Report of the Commission on the Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE in Oct 1990, 2011
• Status of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Sri Lanka – edited by B. Skanthakaumr, 2011
• Habeas Corpus in Sri Lanka: Theory and Practice of the Great Writ in Extraordinary Times by Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena & Jayantha de Almeida Guneratne


Other Information


The Library, with a collection of more than 7,250 books, also includes a substantial collection of periodicals, papers related to workshops, seminars and conferences, as well as the Trust's own publications. There are approximately fifty periodicals on display, most of which are received in exchange for the LST Review.


Special collections include the Sam Kadirgamar Collection, acquired in 1991, consisting of a substantial number of legal texts, Indian, English, South African and Sri Lankan Law Reports and Cases. The Canada Section, donated to the Trust by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is a collection of the Dominian Law Reports and the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. The Library also holds US Law Reports (such as Corpus Juris Secundum and US Supreme Court Reporter), along with the Indian Supreme Court cases, Sri Lankan publications including New Law Reports, Legislative Enactments, Sri Lanka Law Reports and Acts of Parliament are also available.





The Law & Society Trust

3 Kynsey Terrace, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka

ph (941) 691-228/684-845

fax (941) 686-843

e-mail: lstadmin[a]sltnet.lk; lst[a]slt.lk






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