Diaspora Lanka Report : 28 September to 31 December 2013 – Part 1

diaspora 1

In this edition….
…A three-day “lockdown” workshop produces inspired urban design for Mannar’s town plan
…Visible progress made on the women’s rice mill project
…A community tourism strategy gets the attention of the International Financial Corporation
…Successful overseas volunteer programs in 2013 will generate further ones in 2014


The past three months in Sri Lanka have been a mixed bag, of frustration and hampered progress on some of our larger projects and encouraging headway on our more community-level ventures. The political backdrop of this trip was vibrant and at times volatile due to the holding of the Northern Provincial Government elections and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM). The Government was also preoccupied with preparations for the forthcoming return to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in March of 2014.

A highlight of this period was having 15 overseas volunteers work alongside local counterparts on a range of projects. Although our town planning initiatives didn’t quite go according to plan, Diaspora Lanka brought out 11 Australian planning professionals who assisted to fast-track the Mannar urban development plan. Two volunteers came from Estonia to work on a community tourism strategy and an English-based activity program, while two further volunteers from Vietnam and Australia focused on establishing an ‘English as a Second Language’ (ESL) program.

Other pleasing developments included the progress made on establishing a rice mill so that women made vulnerable by the war can earn a daily income and the establishment of the Computerizing Mannar Villages initiative for children and youngsters in two more remote areas of Mannar.

Diaspora Lanka’s Projects


1. Helping out

• Heart operation
• Video camera
• Asylum seeker support


2. Community advocacy

• Government, church, community
agency negotiations


3. Business development

• Rice to Riches – women’s rice mill
• IT Platform – youth business
• Computerizing Mannar Villages
• Mannar Chamber capacity building
• Community tourism strategy


4. Urban planning

• Mannar urban development plan
• Kulam/ponds rehabilitation project
• Foreshore development project
• Urban development “lockdown”


5. Social cohesion

• English as a second language program
• Mannar youth development
• Publications
• Knowledge transfers – volunteers and visitors
Get involved in Sri Lanka – development projects, business advice & planning, exposure visits, knowledge transfers, government negotiations, skills development, English language teaching
Get involved in Oz – dialogue discussions, project liaison, research, fundraising, media, conference organizing, committee roles (advocacy, PR, finance, web, admin, strategic planning)
• Jeremy Liyanage, Director Mobile: 0403 694 132 Email: jeremy.liyanage@gmail.com
• Parathithasan Shelliah, Director Email: parathy28@hotmail.com
• Stanley Stork, Treasurer Email: swkrots@dodo.com.au


Diaspora Lanka Ltd is a not-for-profit company
Address: Ross House, Lvl 4, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel Oz: +61 403 694 132 Tel SL: +94 771 023 981

Email: diasporalanka@gmail.com

ABN: 92 146 209 297 ACN: 146 209 207

Facebook: diasporalanka



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