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Sri Lanka
The Centre is an English language school for low-income students, which began life in a garage and now boasts over 500 students.
How are people in Galle, Sri Lanka, picking up the pieces following the disaster in December? Mark Perera finds out.
IT WAS only three days before the tsunami struck that Vijitha Yapa decided to give a day off to his staff of eight at his bookshop in Galle, though for the last 10 years they had worked on Boxing Day.
Jehan Perera works with civic organizations and through the media in Sri Lanka to promote peace and human rights.
As violence rocked the peace process in Northern Ireland in February, an inter-communal group from another conflict zone, Sri Lanka, addressed a forum arranged by For a Change in London. The scale of carnage in Sri Lanka's civil war between Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese majority is far higher than that in Northern Ireland.
Last year, Sri Lanka topped world tables for the numberof-political-murders per head of population. The Sarvodaya movement - active in a fifth of Sri Lanka's villages - is answering the roots of violence as well as poverty. Jehan Perera explains.
Rilhena lies in the foothills of the mountains, amidst the tea plantations which took away the ancestral village lands. About 100 families live there, cultivating rice.
How The Island newspaper was born is a story by itself. But what followed was the most fascinating job I had been involved with, at a crucial period in the nation's history.
How did the inhabitants of Sri Lanka, calling themselves Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, come to believe that `our people' did not comprise all of the people living on the island?
A document changes hands. The scroll, signed by the executive President of the country, grants an amnesty to all those who surrender their arms.