This discussion will explore the unfolding developments in Sri Lanka, the responses of the government and international actors, and possibilities for a justice-oriented, people-centered approach to resolving the crisis.
In 2022, a youth-led citizens movement succeeded in removing a Prime Minister, President, and a Cabinet of Ministers in Sri Lanka. The old political guard maneuvered to cling to power and used the anti-terrorism laws to crackdown on citizen protestors and curtal civil and political rights. This was followed by a deepening of the country’s economic and social crisis as a result of government policies that have driven segments of the population into poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity. This event will discuss the unfolding developments in Sri Lanka, the responses of the government and international actors, and possibilities for a justice-oriented, people-centered approach to resolving the crisis in Sri Lanka.
Lunch will be served.
Ermiza Tegal is an Attorney-at-Law and human rights activist from Sri Lanka and is currently a fellow with the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School. Over the past 20 years, she has advocated for advances across a wide range of civil and political rights in Sri Lanka. Her litigation practice largely involves representation for victims of discrimination, torture, arbitrary arrest and domestic violence. Ermiza is a co-founder of Muslim Personal Law Reform Action Group (MPLRAG) which works for Muslim family law reforms. She is part of the Feminist Collective for Economic Justice initiated to advocate for socio-economic rights in response to the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka.
Niyanthini Kadirgamar is currently pursuing a PhD in Comparative and International Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her dissertation research is on the global and local influences on free public education policies in Sri Lanka. She taught as a visiting lecturer at the Open University of Sri Lanka. As a researcher, she has researched women, labor and the economy and worked extensively in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.
Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, the International Human Rights Clinic, and the South Asian Law Students Association at Harvard Law School.