Project information

Sri Lankan CSOs capacity-building project

The proposed initiative aims to ensure that minority issues are effectively addressed in post-war Sri Lanka, by uniquely strengthening the capacities of organizations and activists representing these communities so that they can effectively represent their communities and defend their rights.


Charity information: Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) logo
  • Need


    Ethnic and religious minority communities in Sri Lanka, who have disproportionately suffered from the 30-year war, are still suffering from human rights abuses and face being marginalized even more from all on-going peace-building processes. NGO’s working on human rights, have been attacked, arrested and threatened. Organizations directly representing minority communities have during the conflict and its aftermath faced increased challenges to implement their much needed work.


    The current programme aims to strengthen the impact of Sri Lankan NGOs/CBOs in combating discrimination and violation of the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and in promoting dialogue among all groups.The project will tackle the discrimination experienced by marginalized communities, particularly the Tamil, and contribute to the peaceful conciliation of minorities’ interests.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Strengthen capacities of minority activists, including grass root level activists, CBOs & partners


    » One national training for grass-root minority CBOs and activists: (3 days in Northern Sri Lanka, 25 participants).
    » Offering to selected activists the opportunities to join international advocacy meetings.

    Success will be when minority activists acquire the knowledge & expertise necessary for them to more effectively advocate for the implementation of minority rights.

    Aim 2

    Encourage greater collaboration between minority activists.


    » Organizing network meetings to make joint statements or do common national level advocacy, particularly on human rights violations.
    » Annual meetings dedicated to religious minorities’ issues and in charge of adopting and implementing a specific action plan.

    Success will be when minority activists gain more experience in working together to take up minority issues.

    Aim 3

    Greater national & international awareness on the socio-economic situation of Tamils.


    » Monitoring and reporting on minority rights violations as well as specific problems facing minorities in the post-war context.
    » Using a web portal to publicize incidents of human rights violations identified by relevant mechanisms and networks.

    Success will be when national and international stakeholders build a better understanding of the socio-economic situation of Tamils.

    Aim 4

    Encourage the Sri Lankan government to protect the civil, economic, and social rights of the Tamils.


    » Advocacy campaign based on a research paper (compiled by HDO) focusing on the socio-economic rights of plantation Tamils.
    » Conducting international advocacy based on the recommendations and findings of MRG report on Sri Lanka
    » Stregthening existing contacts and networks built with UK, EC, UN in Geneva, India and OIC states to take up minority rights issues in Sri Lanka.

    Success will be when the Sri Lankan government takes concrete steps to protect the civil, economic, and social rights of the Tamils.

    Aim 5

    Reduce tensions between ethnic communities at local level.


    » Setting up conflict resolution committees bringing together representatives of all ethnic and religious groups.
    » Round tables on political solution and reconciliation attended by partners, minority activists, and politicians.

    Success will be when the round tables manage to configure a common minority position and advocate both to national and international actors to take it up.

  • Impact


    Indicators of success will be strengthened capacities of minority activists, evidenced in their participation in various activities such as advocacy campaigns. Developing and strengthening civil society networks will enable participating organizations to pool resources and experience, leading to greater impact and results on the ground. This initiative will bring long lasting changes to the situation of minorities by influencing policy and practice, which will benefit the country as a whole.


    Risks include fieldwork and community based activities jeopardised by civil/political unrest, outbreak of disease, government's reluctance to cooperate, or major environment disaster. However, MRG has a contingency plan that would be put into place and would encompass this project.


    Reporting to donors will take place on an annual basis, in conjunction with our main donor’s reporting guidelines.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £209,984

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      Amount Heading Description
      £27,681 Project support costs partner coordination, office rent, equipment
      £115,443 Personnel partners staff, publications and research staff
      £18,060 Training human rights monitoring, travel, training for CBO activists
      £22,546 Networking round table discussions, conflict resolution committees, activist meetings
      £15,228 Advocacy advocacy campaign on language & socio-economic rights, meetings between NGOs & international actors
      £11,026 Monitoring and evaluation MRG staff monitoring, external evaluation, audit

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) £200,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Sri Lanka


    This action will directly target Sri Lanka minority activists from grass root organisations who need to strengthen their capacities to effectively represent minorities. The final beneficiaries of the action will be Sri Lankan minority communities (including Sri Lankan Tamils (12.7% of the total population), Indian Tamil (5.5%), Muslims (7.4%)), whose needs will be better addressed by civil society and national and international decision-makers.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is no other NGO with MRG’s broad mandate on minority issues, nor its high reputation among minority communities, governments and UN human rights bodies. MRG has consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. MRG and its current partners have been engaged together in various projects and advocacy in the area for a number of years.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Centre For Policy Alternatives (CPA)

    The partner will especially be responsible for the organization of all in-country activities with the direct support of MRG.

    Community Trust Fund (CTF)

    The partner will contribute to this initiative with its expertise on Tamil and Muslim displacement.

    Human Development Organisation (HDO)

    HDO will assist with its extensive experience of working on human rights issues with plantation Tamils.