Mario Gomez has a doctorate in law and was previously a Lecturer in public law, human rights and gender studies in the University of Colombo. He has published on human rights, constitutional reform, public law, gender equality and transitional justice. He has a PhD in law and was a member of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government. He teaches occasionally in the University of Colombo. His Publications include The Politics of Dealing with the Past in Deeply Divided Sri Lanka, Constitutionalizing Economic and Social Rights in Sri Lanka (Co-author), Lifting the Veil of Secrecy: The Right to Information in Emerging and Existing Democracies, Keeping Rights Alive: Reform and Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka: Case Study on Post-Conflict Justice.
Associate Director – Finance and Administration
Chalani Lokugamage (Kandy)
Radhika Coomaraswamy received her BA from Yale University, LLM from Harvard University and the Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Columbia University. Current member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, she served as UN Under Secretary General and as Special Representative of Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict from 2006 until 2012. Earlier, from 1994 to 2003, she was UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women,. In Sri Lanka, Dr. Coomaraswamy was Chairperson of Human Rights Commission from 2003 to 2006 and was a Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies from 1984 to 2006. She was, until September 2018, a civil society member of the Constitutional Council. Dr. Coomaraswamy is a Global Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law.
Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake is a cultural anthropologist with research expertise in international political economy, peace, and development studies in South and South East Asia. Her research spans issues in gender and women’s empowerment, migration and multiculturalism, ethno-religious identity politics, new and old Diasporas and global religion, particularly, transnational Theravada Buddhist networks in the Asia-Pacific region. Darini was a Senior Lecturer at the Open University of Sri Lanka. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Brandeis University and MA and Ph.D are from Princeton University.
Hasini Haputhanthri is a development professional and arts manager in Sri Lanka.She’s involved in a global network of researchers and practitioners on historical dialogue and reconciliation. Initially trained as a sociologist at Delhi University India and Lund University Sweden, she recently specialized in Oral History and Museum Anthropology at Columbia University New York.
Finishing her 10 year stint with Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Hasini now works as an independent consultant and researcher. Among her current assignments are Archive of Memory: reflections on 70 years of independence in Sri Lanka – an oral history project, and a baseline survey of 25 museums, with its publication forthcoming as Museums, Memory and Identity Politics in Sri Lanka.
Nireka Weeratunge is Principal Investigator on the Migration and collectives/networks as pathways out of poverty Gendered vulnerabilities and capabilities amongst poor fishing communities in Asia project. She has a PhD in anthropology from the University of Toronto, Canada and over 20 years of experience in research and development practice in the interface of gender, environment and development issues in the Asia-Pacific region. Her main areas of research are the social and cultural aspects of natural resource use, and micro/small enterprise, focusing on livelihood strategies related to poverty, vulnerability, resilience and wellbeing of rural households in fishing and farming communities. She has worked in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Philippines and Vietnam.
Danesh Jayatilaka is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) and a doctoral candidate in economics. He coordinated the ‘Post-war growth and economic opportunities for women’ GROW programme and was Co-Investigator in ‘Involuntary Resettlement: A Cross Country Study on Urban Inequality and Poverty’, both studies funded by the IDRC and DFID. Recent publications include ‘Urban Community Profiles: Safe Relocation and Resettlement in Post-War Sri Lanka’ – Routledge (2018), ‘The right to adequate housing in post-conflict Colombo, Sri Lanka’ – Palgrave (2017), ‘Conflict, displacement and post-war recovery: A community profile of Passaiyoor East in Jaffna, Sri Lanka’ – ICES (2015), ‘The other side of migration and development nexus: The Sri Lankan experience in trafficking’ – Routledge (2015), ‘Planned relocations in the context of natural disasters: The case of Sri Lanka’ – Brookings Institution (2015), ‘The Impact of Displacement on Dowries in Sri Lanka’ – Brookings Institution (2015). Danesh has collaborated with various research institutions and is a former UN staff officer.
Visiting Research Fellow
Page Fortna (PhD, Harvard University 1998) is the Harold Brown Professor of US Foreign and Security Policy in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University in New York, where she has taught international relations for almost 20 years. She is a member of Columbias Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. Her research focuses on terrorism in civil wars, and war termination and the durability of peace in the aftermath of both civil and interstate wars. As a visiting fellow at ICES in Sri Lanka, her research looks at why rebel organizations, in some instances, employ deliberately indiscriminate attacks on civilians and its cinsequences and effectiveness.
Visiting Research Fellow
Ravi Vaitheespara is currently International Research Fellow at ICES and Senior Scholar and former Associate Professor of Modern South Asian and World History at the University of Manitoba, Canada. Before that, he was adjunct Professor of History at the University of Toronto from where he received his PhD in modern South Asian history. His primary research interest has been on the subject of religion, caste, gender and its intersections with ethno-national and nationalist articulation in colonial and post-colonial South Asia. He has also worked on the left movements in South India and Sri Lanka. His recent publications in English include, Religion, Caste and Nation in South India: Maraimalai Atikal, Neo-Saivism and Tamil Nationalism. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015; Theorizing the National Crisis: Sanmugathasan, the Left and the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka. Colombo: Social Scientists Association, 2007 and numerous essays on modern history and nationalism in both India and Sri Lanka. His recent publication in Tamil includes Thamil Samugathil, Samayam, Saathi, Kotpadu (Religion, Caste and Ideology in Tamil Society) Chennai: Menmai Veliyidu, 2016.
Visiting Research Fellow
Lia Kent has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and isa Fellow in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. Herresearch critically engages with the long-term dynamics of peacebuilding, transitional justice, memory politics and reconciliation, with a particulargeographic focus on Timor-Leste and Aceh.She is the author ofThe Dynamics of Transitional Justice: International Models and Local Realities in East Timor(Routledge 2012) and a co-editor ofHybridity in Peacebuilding and Development(Routledge 2019). She is currently working on a new monograph, tentatively entitledThe Work of Memory. As a visiting fellow at ICES in Sri Lanka, Lia will draw on her experiences working on Timor-Leste, Aceh and other post-conflict societies in examining the Sri Lankan experience of peacebuilding.
Ranmini Vithanagamaholds a B.A in Economics and a Masters in Economics from University of Colombo, and is currently reading for her PhD in Economics at University of Colombo. She is currently a consultant researcher in a longitudinal study looking at economic growth opportunities for women in the north (GRoW). Her other research interests include internal displacement and disability.
Annemari de Silva has a research interest in the nexus between cultural production, society and politics. She was a Chevening Scholar to the School of Oriental and African Studies where she read for an M.A. in South Asian Area Studies, with a focus on the politics of culture in South Asia. She served on the advisory panels for Intangible Cultural Heritage and Research & Publications of the National Arts Council. She is a lecturer in Literature and her academic publications include studies on literary history, postcoloniality, and nationalism. She writes commentaries on popular culture for print and digital media.
Sumedha Jayakody is a consultant working for the Pluralistic memories project currently hosted in Sri Lanka by ICES, which documents and analyzes socio psychological dynamics associated with conflict and the preservation of memory. He holds a BA in psychology from the University of Peradeniya and is currently reading for his PhD in social psychology from the University of Lausanne.
Meghana Nallajerla is a Fulbright Research Grantee to Sri Lanka, affiliated with the University of Colombo and based at ICES. Meghana is examining how psychosocial workers and counselors working with Tamil communities incorporate collective experiences of trauma and community resilience into their therapeutic interventions. Meghana graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania (2018), majoring in Psychology and Gender Studies. Her thesis research on perceptions of depression among South Asian immigrants received an Active Minds Emerging Scholar Fellowship. Meghanas ongoing research includes work on discrimination and wellbeing amongst racially marginalized populations in India. She is the 2018 recipient of the James Brister Society Leadership Award, the Abraham D. Cohn Prize, a Phi Beta Kappa inductee, and a board member of the University of Pennsylvania Asian Alumni Network. Meghanas advocacy work has focused on anti-racism and intersectionality; she has written on gender and sexual violence, recently contributing a foreword to the anthology Once Unspoken.
Senior Programme Coordinator
Kasun Pathiraja is coordinating the programme ‘Building Resilient Communities’ at ICES. He has researched and co-authored a study on post war reconciliation and people’s perceptions, titled ‘Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Voices From Former War Zones’. Kasun followed a MSc postgraduate degree in Environmental Economics at PGIA, University of Peradeniya and holds a BA in Economics and Statistics from University of Peradeniya. He has completed a semester study in Peace and Conflict Studies at Oslo University College. He has also completed a Diploma in Conflict Resolution offered by Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Kasun has over 5 years of work experience in Research, Humanitarian and Development sectors and has presented research papers at international conferences. His areas of interest are Peace and Conflict related issues, Development, Environmental Studies, Global Terrorism and Human rights.
Programme Officer/ Researcher
Nadine Vanniasinkamis currently involved in research related to inter-religious relations and conflict, the agency of women with disabilities in participating in the reconciliation process and gendered dimensions of poverty and migration in fishing communities in Sri Lanka. Her research interests lie in gender, nationalism and minority identity politics. She has a MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne, a BA (Hons) in English Literature (University of Colombo) and a LLB from the University of London.
Reihshan Deen is currently interning at ICES. He has an MA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Edinburgh, and a Master in Conflict and Peace Studies from the University of Colombo. His research interests include development, the environment, conflict studies, and poverty eradication.
Ponnudurai Thambirajah – Chief Librarian (Colombo)
Dimuth Geethananda – Assistant Librarian/IT (Colombo)
Lakmali Priyadarshani Alwis – Assistant Librarian (Colombo)
B. M. Mowsil – Personal Assistant to Executive Director (Colombo)
G.A. Shyamalee – Finance Officer (Colombo)
Bhagya Wijesooriya – Finance Officer (Colombo)
W.H.M.D. Bandara – Administrative/Accounts Executive (Kandy)
Iranga Silva – Librarian/Publications Officer(Kandy)
Vasantha Premaratne – Programme Coordinator/IT (Kandy)
Saleeka Peiris – Secretary/Receptionist (Kandy)
Anthony Christopher – Receptionist (Colombo)
Rangasmi Arumugam – Office Assistant (Colombo)
K. Ravindran – Office Assistant (Colombo)
Vasantha Jayawathie – Office Orderly (Kandy)