Suriya is a collective of women activists and feminists working to promote women’s rights in the Batticaloa District in Eastern Sri Lanka since 1993.
Suriya currently acts as a voice of and for women living in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka and plays an active role in bringing to the forefront the perspectives of all women. Suriya is committed to working with and for women from Tamil and Muslim communities through gender empowerment, development and cultural programs. Together, we aim to create an equitable and peaceful society free of discrimination against women. Suriya’s vision is to “build a society which is non-discriminatory, free of violence and respects and treats women with equality and dignity” and our mission is to “create an equitable and peaceful society free of discrimination against women”
Home for Human Rights strives to preserve and protect economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. It seeks to protect the fundamental freedoms of the people in Sri Lanka and prevent the violation of their rights as embodied in the Sri Lanka constitution, international covenants, conventions, treaties, institutions, and organizations. HHR documents human rights violations and provides legal and medical aid to victims of abuse resulting from the civil conflict.
Since its inception, HHR has derived its mission and its vision from the global human rights movement. It believes UN instruments on human rights operate on two levels: the global and the local. HHR works on both levels, providing legal advocacy and representation in Sri Lankan courts.
Additionally, HHR works with victims suffering displacement and discrimination due to caste, gender, war and the Tsunami. Its programs for women, lower-caste workers, fishermen and widows seek to help groups regain their livelihoods and provide them with long-term self-reliance.
HHR was created in 1977 by three attorneys wishing to document the widespread human rights violations related to an increasingly violent conflict between the Sri Lankan government and various rebel groups.
Since its inception, the breadth of HHR’s focus has gradually grown to include the documentation and dissemination of information; the provision of assistance for survivors; the encouragement of legal intervention as well as active defense for those lacking the resources to defend themselves; and the utilization of existing laws and the human rights regime to address a wide variety of human rights violations.
A small group of five women began this institution in 1995. What prompted them to do so was the distinctive difference between cast and class that refrained students from achieving a higher education at that time.
While they called themselves an operational group in 1996 it was in 1997 that they re-named themselves to Rajarata Praja Kendraya or Rajarata Community Centre (RCC) under the guidance of Sheela Rathnayake. Currently the RCC coordinates in seven divisions in the Anuradhapura district. They have a community of 3700 from Kakirawa, Palagala, Manupa, Vilachchiya, Padaviya and Horowpathana.
Some of the projects they are presently engaged in are:
Vocational Training for youth
Education for youth
Micro finance and programmes on Gender, Domestic Violence, CEDAW and UNSCR 1325.
Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum [MWRAF] was started in 1976 by a few Muslim women who gathered together at informal meetings to discuss critical issues facing Muslim women in Sri Lanka. Later on we evolved as a formal organization in 1986 and registered as an NGO in 1990.
Viluthu means, in Tamil, the hanging roots of a Banyan tree. Just as the hanging roots of the tree support and nourish the branches to spread wide, this organization supports and strengthens people’s network in the conflict affected North and East.