Open Seminar: Sri Lanka One Year After


Utviklingsfondet and partners invite to seminar on the situation in Sri Lanka Tuesday 2nd March. Representatives from Norwegian government, academia, Tamil diaspora and the NGO sector in Sri Lanka will participate.

Organisers: Utviklingsfondet/the Development Fund and partners
Registration (free of charge): send email to [email protected]

The seminar will among other issues raise the following topics and questions (see also below):

·         Status Sri Lanka

·         Civilian life beyond the camps- what are people’s need?

·         Strategies for short and long-term development

·         Dialogue with governments in Norway and Sri Lanka

·         The role of Tamil Diaspora

The whole world followed the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka one year ago. While the international attention has somewhat shifted elsewhere, the Diaspora and the international community are still trying to play a constructive role in building up a post-war Sri Lanka. What is more difficult to know-  is what strategies (long and short term) exists for development in Sri Lanka? How will the civilians get help to start a new life after the camps? What gaps need to be addressed through dialogue and collaboration? And lastly, what role can the Diaspora play in helping in reconstruction?

The seminar, organized by the Development Fund, and partners, aims at putting Sri Lanka back on the agenda of Norwegian policymakers, NGOs and the public in general. With addressing the important issues related to reconstruction we hope to pave way for further involvement and engagement that will ultimately benefit the people in the North and East. During the seminar, a panel will share reflections on the topics mentioned, and this will be  followed by a debate were we encourage questions and comments from the floor focusing on the future! We encourage relevant organizations to send a representative to the seminar.

1.    Representative from Sri Lanka Team, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway
2.    Mr Suranjan Kodithuwakku, Director of Green Movement of Sri  Lanka
3.    Ms Selvamalar Ayadurai, PhD, TECH Outreach Malaysia
4.    Mr Shanmugaratnam, Professor at University of Life Sciences, Norway
5.    Ms Sangeetha Sivagnanasundaram, Leader of Tamil Student Union

Moderator: Ms Alice Ennals, Development Fund

Please send us an email to register your attendance. The seminar is free and open for everyone, but for logistical reasons we need to know the number of people who will attend: [email protected]



Dr. Selvamalar Ayadurai is a Social Entrepreneur with TECH Outreach, a non-profit non-governmental organization based in Malaysia. Her focus is in creating self-sustainable communities through micro-credit financing based on the Grameen Model by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the 2006  Nobel Peace Laureate of Bangladesh. TECH Outreach’s 2010/2011 projects include developing UNHCR Women refugees, Single Mothers, Women in Crisis and the IDPs of Sri Lanka. Dr. Selvamalar is a Consultant Trainer with CB Consultancy & Training and a Lecturer with the University of Newcastle, Singapore. She has been involved in development work in Sri Lanka, particular in the development of women entrepreneurship in North East Sri Lanka since 2003. She has in the past worked with UNDP and the ILO based in Sri Lanka in initiating entrepreneurial ventures and entrepreneurship training for the women of the North East. Her Research Paper on “Profile of Women Entrepreneurs in a War-Torn Area: Case Study of North East Sri Lanka” won “The Excellence In Research Award” for the “Outstanding Paper Addressing Issues In Entrepreneurship Under Conditions of Adversity” at the 2005 50th World Conference of ICSB Washington D.C. in July 2005. She is at present working on a research paper titled “Challenges faced by UNHCR Women Refugees in Malaysia in initiating Entrepreneurial Ventures.”

Shanmugaratnam PhD is Professor of Development Studies and Head of Research at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB). His fields of interests are: Political economy and institutional economics; policy and institutional aspects of development, reconstruction of war-affected societies, and natural resource management. Shanmugaratnam heads the PhD programme and teaches graduate level courses in development theory and policy, and conflict, peace building and development at Noragric. He has been engaged in research and consultancy in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Sangeetha Sivagnanasundaram is born in Sri Lanka, but has grown up in Vadsø and Oslo, and is the leader of Tamil Student Union at the University of Oslo. She is in her final semester in the Masters Programme  Health Economics, Policy and Management, were she is addressing the quality of health care services in three main hospitals in Oslo in her thesis. She is active not only in the  Tamil Youth Organization, but also in the local Youth Labour Party (Auf). Ms Sangeetha has been engaged in society since her childhood and has contributed to a variety of Tamil Organizations in Norway: TRVS , NTHO, Tamil Rehabilitation Org.,  Tamil Student Union etc. Her heart is with the war affected people in Sri Lanka, and how to contribute to their improvement of life.

Suranjan Kudithuwakku, is a former journalist and a founding member and CEO of the Green Movement of Sri Lanka, the largest environmental network in the country, with 147 NGOs engaged in the management of natural resources. Green Movement is a partner organisation of the Development Fund. Suranjan is also a founding director of the Center for Environmental Justice and he sits on the current international committee of the NGO Forum on ADB.
Green Movement is in frequent dialogue with the government and has also programmes for livelihoods development targeting those leaving the camps in the North and East.

Alice M Ennals (moderator) has worked in the Development Fund since 2002. Before this she was engaged in FAO and Noragric (UMB), spending a couple of years in Central America and Italy working with social aspects of natural resources management.  During the last two years, Ennals has been involved in Diaspora engagement in development through a pilot set up by Norad and MFA involving the Norwegian Pakistani community into mainstream development. Development Fund has hosted this Secretariat (also with Norwegian Church Aid), and during this period also co-organised with other Diaspora groups several meetings addressing the links between migration and development.

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