The Reconciliation Task Force in Sri Lanka

The formal title is ‘Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms”  and its web site is  and the deadline for submissions is drawing to a close.The Personnel constituting the Task Force are an impressive mix, while Mano Tittawella is its “Secretary-General” (c.v. below).manoouri plus Manori, Farzana and  … RANILAT KOVIL Ranil at launch ?


Manouri Muttetuwegama (Chairperson) L.L.M, Barrister, Attorney-at-Law. Practitioner in Public Law, Human Rights activist, Chairperson Presidential Commission on Disappearances in the South, West & Sabaragamuwa Provinces 1994 – 97 & All-Island Commission Commission on Disappearances  1998 – 2002, Commissioner Human Rights Commission Sri Lanka 2004 – 2007, Commissioner Presidential Commission on some incidents of serious Human Rights Violations 2005 – 7.

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu (Secretary)is the founder Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, (CPA). He has presented papers on governance and peace in Sri Lanka at a number of international conferences and is widely quoted in the international and local media.He is also a founder director of the Sri Lanka Chapter of Transparency International and a founding Co- Convener of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), which has monitored all the major elections in Sri Lanka since 1997. In 2004 he was an Eisenhower Fellow (2004).


Gamini Viyangoda a graduate in Development Studies from the University of Colombo, is well known as a writer in Sinhala. He is a prolific translator of 27 great literary works into Sinhala, introducing post-modernist literary trend to Sinhala readership for the first time. As a columnist for the last three decades, he has been a leading socio-political critic in the public discourse of democracy and good-governance, in addition to being one of the founders and chief organizers of The Purawesi Balaya (Citizens’ Power), a social movement of artistes, intellectuals, professionals and civil activists who threw their weight behind President Maithripala Sisrisena’s successful bid for presidency.

Visaka Dharmadasa Is the founder and Chair of Association of War Affected Women and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action, Her second son a Sri Lankan Military officer was reported missing in action in 1998. Struggling to end the civil war, she was able to bring women together across the conflict lines to work for peace, In coordination with the “1000 Peace women across the globe” movement, she was nominated for a collective Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.. Visaka Dharmadasa holds a degree in negotiations and mediation skills from the United States Institute for Peace, Washington, and in women and security from Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.

Shantha Abhimanasingham PC is the President of the Jaffna Bar Association, the sole President’s Counsel residing in the North and East, and the Chairperson of the National Committee studying the problems faced by Women-Headed Households.

Prof. Sitralega Maunaguru is a retired Professor from the Eastern University SriLanka. Her teaching career spread over 30 years both at the University of Jaffna and at the Eastern University. While teaching at the university she has been constantly involved with various organizations engaging in women’s rights and peace activism. She is one of the few who forged academic work and social activism in their career.

She has been the founder member of various organizations working on women’s rights and social justice. She was engaged with Mother’s Front, Women‘s Study Circle and Poorani Women’s Centre in Jaffna in the 80s and early 90s. Her work continues with Suriya Women’s Development Centre in Batticaloa She was honoured by UNHCR in 2003 for her efforts to support internally displaced women and Gender Equality in SiLanka. She was appointed by GOSL to serve in the National Committee on Women from 2007 to 2010. Sitralega’s research interests are gender, Tamil literature, and folklore.

W. Janaranjana is an Attorney-at-Law, senior journalist and is also the Editor of the newspaper “Ravaya” as well as the Director of the Ravaya Publications Guarantee Limited. He served as the founder member and the CEO of Rights Now Collective for Democracy through 2007-2008 periods. In addition, Mr. Janaranjana functioned as the assistant secretary and secretary for Free Media Movement prior to his current undertaking where he serves as an executive committee member.He is also a lecturer of Law and serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Professional Studies (CFPS) Colombo. Mr. Janaranjana is also an active member of Lawyers for Democracy.

Prof. Daya Somasundaram is a senior professor of psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, and a consultant psychiatrist working in northern Sri Lanka for over two decades. He has also worked in Cambodia for two years in a community mental health programme with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation. Apart from teaching and training a variety of health staff and community-level workers, his research and publications have mainly concentrated on the psychological effects of disasters, both man-made wars and natural tsunami, and the treatment of such effects. His book “Scarred Communities:  Psychosocial Impact of Man-made and Natural Disasters on Sri Lankan Society” is a qualitative, psycho-ecological study of the long-term effects of disasters—both man-made and natural—on Sri Lankan communities. . He has co-authored The Broken Palmyra: The Tamil Crisis in Sri Lanka: An Inside Account.He is a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists. He has functioned as co-chair of the subcommittee on PTSD formed under the WHO working group on stress-related disorders during the ICD-11 revision process. Currently on an extended sabbatical in Australia, he is working as a consultant psychiatrist at Glenside Hospital, supporting Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS), and is a clinical associate professor at the University of Adelaide.

Dr. Farzana Haniffa obtained her PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University in New York in 2007 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department of the University of Colombo. Her research and activist interests for the past fifteen years have concentrated on minority politics and transitional justice in Sri Lanka with an emphasis on the country’s Muslim communities. Farzana has published locally and internationally on issues of women and conflict, transitional justice, militarization, and child rights in Sri Lanka. She is a member of the management council of the Social Scientists’ Association and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Secretariat for Muslims.

Prof. Gameela Samarasinghe is a Clinical Psychologist and currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Colombo. She teaches undergraduate courses in Psychology in the Department of Sociology and postgraduate courses at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo. She introduced a Postgraduate Diploma and a Master’s in Counselling and Psychosocial Work at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo. These postgraduate programmes try to provoke thinking on alternative visions of what support to individuals and communities might look like while at the same time providing training on conventional counselling skills. She has been a member of various advisory groups developing strategies for post-conflict trauma in Sri Lanka and internationally.

She has been the recipient of many awards including the Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Scholar Award (2004-2005) at Boston University and the Fulbright Advanced Research Award 2013 – 2014 at Columbia University, New York. Amongst other national contributions, she was a Member of the Drafting Committee on the section on Torture of the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, July 2009 – 2011. This year, she was appointed to the research committee of the NCPA, and is serving on the Task Forces on the psychosocial programme to develop a healing process for the families affected by the conflict and the women for reconciliation programme at the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation.

Mirak Raheem is a researcher and activist working on human rights, reconciliation, land, displacement and minority issues. He is currently a consultant to the Ministry of Resettlement and is leading their consultation process. He worked as a Senior Researcher at the Peace and Conflict Analysis Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka for 9 years. He has served on a number of boards, ncluding the Secretariat for Muslims, where he currently serves. He obtained his undergraduate degree in International Relations & History from London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and a Masters in Peace Studies from Notre Dame University, USA.

manoTITTAWELLAThe Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms is headed by Mr. Mano Tittawella who serves as the Secetary General of the secretariat. Mr. Tittawella has a distinguished record of dynamic public and private sector leadership at the highest levels. He was the Director-General of the Public Enterprise Reform Commission, the Chairman of the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency, the Chairman of the Task Force to Rebuild the Nation, the Director-General of the President’s Office and a Senior Presidential Advisor.  He is also a Member of the Kadirgamar Institute’s Board of Management.

Mr. Tittawella is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of EAP Holdings, a leading conglomerate. He has also served as CEO of Lanka Securities and head of research at Jardine Fleming Securities Sri Lanka. Mr. Tittawella possesses a MBA in Capital Markets & Finance from the University of Edinburgh. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK


Filed under accountability, landscape wondrous, life stories, Muslims in Lanka, politIcal discourse, power politics, press freedom, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, rehabilitation, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, working class conditions, world events & processes

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