Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multi-party republic with a population of 21 million. In May 2009, after two decades of civil war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the government announced that its military had finally defeated the remnants of the LTTE. A large number of civilians were killed and displaced during the war. In the beginning of 2015 elections were held in Sri Lanka.
Decreasing political rights
When the domestic war ended in 2009, the Sri Lankian government focused on economic development, which has enabled Sri Lanka to gain the status as a lower middle income country. However, there is still an urgent need for accountability and reconciliation if the country's conflict is to be sustainably resolved. This is especially necessary, as the space for civil and political rights continues to decrease with the military having increasing power. The hope for this has increased with the results of the elections in the beginning of 2015.
Low representation of women
Statistics for the representation of women in elected bodies are the lowest in South Asia. Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia without a quota for women at the local government level. Violence against women is also a serious problem in Sri Lanka, where at least 60 per cent of Sri Lankan women have experienced domestic violence.
Diakonia and our partner organizations aim to strengthen civil society and empower marginalised people. Our partner organizations also promote and defend human rights, equal rights for men and women, gender awareness and support socio-economic justice. The partner organizations are also involved in awareness-raising, advocacy and lobbying on voters’ rights and democratic governance.
Conflict sensitivity and gender are prioritised areas for the whole Sri Lanka programme, as well as empowering marginalised groups such as women, young people and ethnic groups. We also contribute to psycho-social recovery of people traumatised by the war through the re-integration of former child soldiers into society.
Read more about our work in Sri Lanka
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