A recent silent protest in front of the president’s office in Colombo was part of an effort to use the new Right to Information law to get the facts on missing persons, voter identification, land rights and other issues. A youth network called AFRIEL facilitated the demonstration and has assisted people in developing more than 1,000 applications under the law.
About 16,000 cases of missing persons remain open in Sri Lanka, even though the country’s civil war ended nearly a decade ago. One woman whose son disappeared in 2008 continues to lead a group of families searching for their missing loved ones by organizing strikes and demonstrations to remind people that these cases remain unsolved.
Muslims in Sri Lanka are obligated to comply with Muslim Law and a corresponding court system when it comes to marriage, inheritances and other personal matters, but women there say that system is discriminatory. Proposed changes to that law could end discrimination and give Muslim women a way out of abusive relationships.
The court system in Sri Lanka is overwhelmed by a backlog of nearly 28,000 cases awaiting the country’s 85 judges. Some criminal and civil cases, however, can be resolved through community mediation boards, a system staffed by volunteers who heard more than 220,000 cases in 2016. This is the story of two women who brought their disputes to mediation in search of justice.
The court system in Sri Lanka is overwhelmed by a backlog of nearly 28,000 cases for the country’s 85 judges. Some criminal and civil cases, however, can be resolved through community mediation boards, a system staffed by volunteers who heard more than 220,000 cases in 2016. This is the story of two women who brought their disputes to mediation, as well as a look inside a school classroom where mediation takes place.
The process of making toddy, an alcoholic beverage, begins at the top of a coconut tree, where a toddy tapper climbs to gather the sap. Toddy tappers face danger as they work, walking tightropes between trees. That danger is just one reason why fewer people than ever before are going into the work.
The underwater miners dig manually in the rivers, without special diving equipment, because of an environmental ban on machinery. Some start this dangerous occupation at age 12 or 13, and they earn good money as the demand for sand in the nation’s construction industry continues to grow.
Under new guidelines, which carry legal authority, medical professionals and government officials have clear mandates for how to handle requests aimed at changing a person’s gender on birth certificates and other identification documents. People who identify as transgendered, regardless of whether they’ve gone through the prohibitively expensive process of having their physical characteristics altered, can obtain a legal gender change.