Advocates living with HIV and cricketers raise awareness about HIV through the Think Wise campaign
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 3 October 2012 – Sarath* had been living and working abroad. Until a few years ago, he had also been a successful track and field athlete, competing in 400-metre races and the triple jump. Then he contracted HIV from a sexual partner.
In Sri Lanka, child-friendly schools transform communities
TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, 21 May 2012 – My name is Sivatheepan Kajanika. I study in Grade 5 at Nilaveli Tamil Mixed School in Trincomalee District. I wake up early each morning happy because I know I’m going to school. In 2008, I didn’t like to go to school. I wasn’t happy with the way of teaching. The teachers weren’t friendly. Because of this, I hated studying.
Partnership helps restore public services in rural Sri Lanka
TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, 15 May 2012 – It’s the morning rounds of the village mothers’ support group. Today, they’re visiting one of the poorest families in this remote village in eastern Sri Lanka.
Members of the Bureau of UNICEF's Executive Board assess programmes and progress in post-conflict Sri Lanka
COLOMBO/JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, 12 March 2012 – Families of children who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s 27-year-long conflict wait for news of their lost ones outside a UNICEF-funded Family Tracing and Reunification Centre (FTR) in the northern town of Mullaitivu.
UNICEF supports efforts to reunite families in post-conflict Sri Lanka
VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka, 20 OCTOBER 2011- No words are needed. No translations. Her face, her gestures speak a language known across the world - a language of pain, of loss, yet somehow still of human hope. Bent double at 91 years of age, Meenadchy was left for dead in the chaos of the final stages of Sri Lanka’s 27 year war. In peace she longs for one thing: her missing granddaughter.
Donors aim to provide Sri Lanka with a brighter future through investment in its children
VAVUNIYA, Northern Sri Lanka, 10 October 2011- In a region which, until recently, had been mired in conflict, the joyful sound of high-pitched laughter danced in the air, as an audience of rapt children enthusiastically responded to the travelling company ‘Clowns without Borders’. Charming the gathering of youth with their engaging brand of slapstick and puppetry, the troupe was there to help celebrate the opening of a new school.
UNICEF encourages small entrepreneurs in northern Sri Lanka
MULLAITIVU, Sri Lanka, 24 August 2011 – Amarashanthini proudly shows us the doors of her house – two solid wooden doors, with substantial locks. As a mother of three she now feels more confident about the security of her children.
UNICEF supports effort to trace missing children in post-conflict Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 20 July 2011 – Jhoncy sits in the shaded courtyard of a children’s home, alone in quiet thought. Understandably, she has a lot on her mind. When we arrive, Jhoncy, 20, gets up from her chair and wanders over to greet us. We shake hands and she looks us in the eye. Her first question is, “Can you help me find my brother?”
UNICEF-supported programme tackles malnutrition on tea estates in Sri Lanka
NUWARA ELIYA, Sri Lanka, 31 May 2011 - A new day beckons in central Sri Lanka’s tea estates. Mother-of-five and picker of tea, Marystella, is up at 5.30 am to prepare the family’s breakfast in their spartan, tiny house.
As floodwaters start to recede in eastern Sri Lanka, UNICEF supports displaced families
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 18 January 2011 – It has been a week since flooding became severe in eastern Sri Lanka, and most routes still remain barely passable. To get to a remote village, we have to travel by boat.
Hundreds of thousands displaced by floods in eastern Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 January 2011 – Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and about two dozen killed by flooding in eastern Sri Lanka, where water levels in some areas are two metres higher than normal – and more heavy rains are forecast.
New child-friendly schools bring new hope to communities in Sri Lanka
AMPARA DISTRICT, Sri Lanka, 15 July 2010 – Thousands of schoolchildren in Ampara district, eastern Sri Lanka, recently cheered in a new era in education, with marching bands playing and UNICEF flags waving during official ceremonies in their villages.
South Asian cricketers bowl UNICEF's 'healthy hat trick' for children
DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka, 24 June, 2010 – Besides batting overs, taking runs and losing innings, South Asia’s top cricketers were bowling a hat trick of another kind during the Asia Cup – which wrapped up here today as India prevailed over Sri Lanka in the final match.
In Sri Lanka, cricket leadership programme helps former child soldiers
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 11 May 2010 – Gopi, 16, makes a dash and lunges to take the catch. “You’re out!” she yells. Elated, with her short hair bobbing from under her cap, she joins the rest of her team to celebrate the victory.
Education revitalizes displaced communities in Sri Lanka
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka 4 May 2010 – In a remote part of eastern Sri Lanka, the rhythmic chant of children’s lessons reverberates through one of the region’s newly re-established schools. Students here are learning the basics of reading and writing after having their education interrupted by armed conflict.
New child-friendly schools provide stability five years after tsunami
THIRAIMADU, Sri Lanka, 30 December 2009 – Dressed in homemade costumes to represent the different wild animals native to Sri Lanka, the children of Navalady Namahal Vidyalaya High School make a colourful and lively spectacle as they run through the final dress rehearsal of a play in the main hall. A crow, a deer and even a tortoise will all have a role to play in the performance.
Paediatric hospitals ‘build back better’ after the 2004 tsunami
AMANTHANAVELY, Sri Lanka, 23 December 2009 – Taking shade from the fierce Indian Ocean sun, a crowd waited patiently for the UNICEF-built Amanthanavely Government Health Centre to open. Inside, midwives distributed nutritional aid to mothers of underweight children.
Sanitation in homes and schools upgraded in tsunami-affected Sri Lanka
KARAKITIVU, Sri Lanka, 22 December 2009 – Jayawathi’s husband had just returned from his overnight fishing trip, and she was watching him prepare the catch in the front yard of their home in Karaitivu, on Sri Lanka’s east coast. Transferring the overflowing buckets of small silvery fish to a larger tub for salting, it looked like a good catch, but earning enough money from fishing is difficult here.
As fighting ends, Sri Lanka faces a critical moment
NEW YORK, USA, 20 May 2009 – A quarter-century of war between government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has come to an end, but the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka continues.
A catastrophe for Sri Lankan children trapped in northern conflict zone
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 May 2009 – Engulfed by gunfire, Tharshini, her husband and their two-week-old baby daughter, Anandi, plunged into the lagoon. Caught amid intense fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government troops, the new parents were making a desperate bid to escape the conflict zone.
Crisis for children in Sri Lanka: Over 100,000 flee fighting, thousands more trapped
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 23 April 2009 – On any random morning, most 11-year-old Sri Lankan children are seated safely behind their school desks. In a nation that prides itself on being the regional leader in education, these students in their pristine uniforms listen attentively before the school bell says it's lunchtime. The clanging old bells are the loudest interruption of any school day.
Hundreds of children reported killed, more injured, in Sri Lankan violence
NEW YORK, USA, 18 March 2009 – In a statement issued yesterday, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman expressed alarm at the high number of children affected by continuing violence in the northern area of Sri Lanka known as the Vanni.
‘Bring Back the Child’: UNICEF and Sri Lanka launch media campaign on child soldiers
VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka, 26 February 2009 – As the star cricketer on his school team, Sitha would always count the days until Saturday and the morning of his next match. It was his weekly moment of glory, a time when all the other boys in his village in northern Sri Lanka came to watch him take out his bat, put on his cricket helmet and stride to the wicket.
Children trapped in Sri Lanka’s conflict
VANNI, Sri Lanka, 23 February 2009 – Sennappu had a split second, a moment, literally a heartbeat to throw her body around her 18-month-old daughter before the bomb landed. Her reactions were enough time to save the life of her baby girl. Sennappu was killed instantly.
Action Plan on ending the recruitment of child soldiers signed in Sri Lanka
NEW YORK, USA, 17 December 2008 – On 4 December, the Government of Sri Lanka, the TMVP (a breakaway faction from the rebel group, the Tamil Tigers) and UNICEF signed an Action Plan to ensure that the recruitment and use of children by the TMVP comes to an end, and that all children currently with the TMVP are released and provided with reintegration assistance.
New water supply project in Sri Lanka brings health and hope to thousands
TANGALLE, Sri Lanka, 4 September 2008 – Until the opening of the UNICEF-funded Tangalle Water Supply Scheme in southern Sri Lanka last week, Apsara Gunaratne’s problems were much like those of the approximately 1 billion other people around the world who live without access to safe water.
Sri Lanka launches effort to tackle malnutrition
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 16 JUNE 2008 – The Sri Lankan Government, backed by UNICEF, recently launched National Nutrition Month at a ceremony in the country’s capital. The initiative is intended to find ways to improve Sri Lanka’s stubborn under-nutrition statistics.
UNICEF helps residents check water safety in post-tsunami Sri Lanka
GALLE, Sri Lanka, December 2007 – Many people living in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province had poor access to safe water even before the tsunami swept in three years ago, flooding wells and septic tanks, and spreading polluted water along the coast. And three years on, the problems continue.
New syllabus helps conflict-affected children get back to school in Sri Lanka
BATTICALOA DISTRICT, Sri Lanka, 5 November 2007 – Twelve-year-old Saranya’s school was close to the old front line between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Sri Lanka Government forces.
UNICEF Sri Lanka reaches out to children and families displaced by escalating conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 16 May 2007 – UNICEF is playing an increasing role in addressing the psychosocial needs of children affected by ongoing violence in Sri Lanka.
In conflict-affected eastern Sri Lanka, aid for a population on the move
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 28 March 2007 – “By foot, by ferry, by bike, by tractor, by tuk-tuk, people are pouring in,” says UNICEF Emergency Officer Donna Carter.
Sri Lankan cricketer treats Trinidadian children to ICC Cricket World Cup 2007
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, 22 March 2007 – Wednesday was a special day for the children of the Cyril Ross Nursery in Tunapuna, just outside the Trinidadian capital, Port of Spain. The Nursery is well known in Trinidad as home to 38 children – 36 of them living with HIV.
Sri Lankan cricket star brings a message of hope to children in Trinidad
TUNAPUNA, Trinidad, 19 March 2007 – “Hi Uncle Kumar,” shouted the children of the Cyril Ross Nursery as they welcomed Sri Lankan cricket star Kumar Sangakkara to their home here, just outside Port of Spain, Trinidad.
UNICEF Sri Lanka tests pioneering new tool for use in emergencies
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 14 March 2007 – UNICEF is pioneering a new system in Sri Lanka that promises some hope of improving the efficiency of humanitarian crisis response.
Hong Kong’s Star TV funds school reconstruction in tsunami-affected Sri Lanka
AMPARA, Sri Lanka, 27 February 2007 – Arunodaya Vidyalaya School in this town on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka was completely destroyed by the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004.
A new school means new hope in tsunami-stricken Hambantota, Sri Lanka
HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka, December 2006 – The wave of destruction that swept through Hambantota – a town known for its fishing industry on Sri Lanka’s south coast – is still visible two years later.
Two disparate tales of post-tsunami reconstruction in Sri Lanka
KIRINDA and TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, December 2006 – In 2004, the fishing village of Kirinda was devastated by the tsunami. Some 78 people were killed, including the parents and older sister of 16-year-old Farouk Mohammad Riaz.
A young Sri Lankan looks back on two years of tsunami rebuilding efforts
NEW YORK, USA, 20 December 2006 – Rusiru Abesingha works as the coordinator of four children’s centres in Sri Lanka, serving children affected by the tsunami that hit the country’s shores on 26 December 2004.
A new life for tsunami widowers in Sri Lanka
BATTICALOA PROVINCE, Sri Lanka, 5 December 2006 – Thangaiah Simson, 59, a small, slight man with an intense, weather-beaten face, has four sons. One of them is married and has moved away from home, two are fishermen and the youngest, Satharsan, is 12 years old and still goes to school.
Nutrition survey checks on health of children affected by conflict in Sri Lanka
MULLAITIVU, Sri Lanka, 1 November 2006 – Three-year-old Kisharthan doesn’t quite know why he’s lying on his back on a wooden board. His father’s hand is on his head and a nurse is holding his feet. He looks alarmed and seems about to cry, but before he can start he is whisked up onto his feet again.
Food supplies run low for Sri Lankan families displaced by violence
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, 26 October 2006 – Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Peninsula has already seen decades of conflict. Now its population of 600,000 is feeling the effects of the recent upsurge in fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and government forces.
Aid reaches families displaced by conflict in eastern Sri Lanka
VAHARAI, Sri Lanka, 12 October 2006 – Not far from the shoreline, where rows of tents stretch into the distance, a group of children and women gather round a concrete well to wash clothes and dowse themselves in cooling water – a relief from the fierce heat.
A day of celebrating peace for Sri Lankan children caught in conflict
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 26 September 2006 – It was a day of hope for Sri Lanka’s children. On 21 September, thousands of children celebrated the UN International Day of Peace amid an escalating conflict that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
Displaced children and families at risk in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
NEW YORK, USA, 20 September 2006 – Despite a ceasefire officially in effect in Sri Lanka, the conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and government forces has brought escalating violence to the Jaffna District on the northern tip of the island nation. Shelling and skirmishes between the two groups are a frequent occurrence there.
Sri Lankan children and families traumatized by continuing conflict
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 13 September 2006 – At a relief camp in Batticaloa, eastern Sri Lanka, 14-year-old Sanjan recounted the ordeal he and his family had endured.
Sri Lankan schoolgirls killed and injured amid escalating violence
NEW YORK, USA, 16 August 2006 – Children are being displaced, injured and killed as the violence in Sri Lanka intensifies. Dozens of schoolgirls reportedly lost their lives and many more suffered injuries this week when bombs hit a compound in Mullaitivu, a district in the northern part of the country.
International community condemns killing of aid workers in Sri Lanka
NEW YORK, 9 August 2006 – The recent killing of 17 Sri Lankan aid workers has sent shock waves through the global humanitarian community. UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka Joanna Van Gerpen called the execution-style killings “unprecedented, and perhaps one of the worst incidents in the history of humanitarian assistance.”
Sri Lanka campaign promotes ‘zero tolerance’ for child sex tourism
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 July 2006 – Every year, over half a million tourists arrive in Sri Lanka drawn by its climate and coastline, and thousands of children, the majority of them boys, are lured into prostitution. Now, Sri Lanka has launched a two-year action plan to put an end to child sex tourism.
Sri Lanka: Upsurge in violence affects children
NEW YORK, 16 June 2006 - Yesterday a landmine exploded under a crowded bus in the northern part of Sri Lanka, killing upwards of 60 people, 18 of them children. It was just one of many recent examples of the violent daily reality of life on this island nation.
Sri Lanka: Focus of tsunami recovery is shifting to ‘bricks-and-mortar’ reconstruction
TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, December 2005 – “Hundreds of thousands of families had to flee their homes and the areas where they lived. Schools were being used as camps to house all these displaced people. Children couldn’t get back into a lot of the essential services they needed, like schools, like hospitals. All of this was destroyed along with their homes. Documents were washed away. People were just left with nothing." says UNICEF Communication Officer in Sri Lanka Geoff Keele.
Sri Lanka: Psychosocial programmes help children heal and make friends
TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, December 2005, - While their lives have taken many similar turns, it took a natural disaster for Rosinda, 11, and Ashar, 14, to become friends.
Sri Lanka: Starting over after the tsunami – one young man’s story
KINNIYA, Sri Lanka, December 2005 – “My name is Mohamed. I’m 14 and I live in Kinniya in Sri Lanka. In the morning I get up and go to the local school. My best subject is health science, and I want to study biology and become a doctor.
Sri Lanka: After the tsunami, rising birth rate brings challenges
TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, December 2005 – Aruentathy, 30, sits at the door of her temporary house, nursing her one-day-old girl, both weary after the ordeal of birth. Her sister Vickneaswary, 28 and seven months pregnant, is by her side, ready to help if needed.
Sri Lanka: HIV/AIDS education for high-risk youth
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 3 November 2005 - The teenagers, mostly boys, sat in a circle on the floor, taking turns writing the names of parts of the body on the anatomical drawing of the female figure before them. As each new word was added, there were giggles from some and teasing from others. This type of session is called ‘body mapping’ and is a useful technique in HIV/AIDS awareness workshops.
Sri Lanka: A silent witness to destruction and progress
MARUTHAMUNAI, Sri Lanka, 23 June 2005 - The water tower witnessed it all. Set back from the Indian Ocean, it saw the tsunami sweep away everything in its sight in this fishing village in eastern Sri Lanka. Six months later, the view from the 35-metre tower is of a forlorn mass of rubble – all that’s left of a group of homes in a in this town in the Ampara district of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka: Young doctors volunteer for community healing
GALLE, Sri Lanka, 21 June 2005 – Twelve-year-old Vishara Madushan is no more afraid of the sea. Vishara fled his home in southern Sri Lanka on 26 December as the surging waters swallowed everything in their path. Six months later, a trauma recovery programme staffed by volunteers who are recent medical graduates has helped him overcome lingering fears.
Sri Lanka: Seven siblings reunited
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 21 June 2005 – They play with each other like pups. Sometimes they even spar. But even when they quarrel, these seven Sri Lankan siblings are just happy to be together again. Losing both their parents and their home in the tsunami was terrible enough without the added pain of being split up.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visits northern Sri Lanka to discuss tsunami relief
KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, 18 June 2005 – Following visits to tsunami-devastated areas of Sri Lanka, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today visited Kilinochchi in a northern area controlled by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visits tsunami-affected areas in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 17 June 2005 – As tsunami recovery efforts continue six months after the disaster, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman visited Sri Lanka and met with children at a school rebuilt with UNICEF support.
Sri Lanka: Building hope in the aftermath of tragedy
MULLAITIVU, Sri Lanka, 22 April 2005 – Walking on this desolate beach in northeast Sri Lanka, 13-year-old Supendrini Thavabalasingham tightly grips her father’s hand as they both stare at the sea that shattered their lives.
Sri Lanka Radio Diary – A Journey through a Rebuilding Nation
Sri Lanka is one of the countries that was most devastated by the tsunami of December 26, 2004. Not so much for the numbers killed but because more than half of its entire coastline was badly hit – all the way from the southwest to the northeast tip.
A long-term commitment to Sri Lanka’s schoolchildren
ADDALAICHENAI, Sri Lanka, 22 March 2005 - In Addalaichenai, on Sri Lanka’s east coast - hit hard by the 26 December tsunami - 10-year-old Aboosalih is a Grade 5 student at the Al-Arham School. “I didn’t want to sit at home while other children were going to school. I wanted to go back because education is important. It can help me lead a good life,” she says.
“Tsunami generation” play their way back to normal life
GALLE, Sri Lanka, 15 March 2005 - At a relief camp in Sri Lanka's southern district of Galle, children play on swings and a merry-go-round in the compound while the sounds of others laughing, singing and shouting can be heard from another group inside a tent. This relief camp is now home to 62 families who come from the fishing and trading community nearby.
UNICEF restores water and sanitation in southern Sri Lanka
GALLE, Sri Lanka, 10 March 2005 - The sound of children playing during recess outside C.W.W. Kannangara College in Sri Lanka’s Galle district seems miraculous given the devastation wrought by the tsunami only three months ago. With only 30 metres separating the school’s front gate from the seashore, the force of the waves washed away classrooms and flooded the building.
Caring for children growing up alone after the tsunami
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 1 March 2005 - Fourteen-year-old Suba couldn’t hear the thundering roar of the giant waves that claimed her mother on that fatal December Sunday - she is unable to hear or speak since birth. However, Suba saw the killer waves and felt their power. Fortunately, she managed to escape from the disaster.
UNICEF helps ‘Baby 81’ reunite with parents
KALMUNAI, Sri Lanka, 16 February 2005 - The four-month old Sri Lankan boy who miraculously survived the tsunami - and later nicknamed “Baby 81” - was officially reunited with his parents in court today. Jenita and Murugupillai Jeyarajah joyfully took their son, Abilasha, from the arms of a doctor in front of an eastern Sri Lankan courtroom filled with onlookers and reporters.
Caring for Sri Lankan children who have lost parents
NEW YORK, 10 February 2005 - More than a month after the tsunami killed more than thirty thousand Sri Lankans, UNICEF is focusing on the long-term care of children who have either become orphaned or lost a parent.
Education and play help children leave the tsunami behind
BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, 7 February 2005 - In Batticaloa, children describe last month’s tsunami as ‘the lunge of a striking cobra.’ Snakes are a familiar danger to Sri Lanka’s youngsters, and the devastating waves that struck last month seemed to transform their entire environment into a menace.
Restoring water and sanitation in hard-hit Ampara province
ISLAMABAD, Sri Lanka, 25 January 2005 - There are few familiar landmarks remaining for the children playing among the wreckage of this fishing village on Sri Lanka’s beautiful eastern coast.
International response “terrific” but many needs remain urgent
NEW YORK, 20 January 2005 - Senior UNICEF officials Dan Toole and Charles Lyons have visited Sri Lanka to supervise the distribution of tsunami relief supplies.
UNICEF’s Martin Bell says tsunami disaster unlike anything he has ever seen
NEW YORK, 13 January 2005 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Martin Bell is in Sri Lanka to see firsthand the devastation caused by December’s tsunami. He has been visiting camps in eastern Sri Lanka where people have been living since their homes and villages were destroyed.
UNICEF Director says death and devastation overwhelming
NEW YORK, 3 January 2005 - UNICEF is warning that early estimates of the number of children killed by the tsunami in Sri Lanka are too low. More than 30,000 people died when giant waves swept the island on December 26.
Bellamy gets a first-hand look at the plight of the children
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 3 January 2005 – UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy is in Sri Lanka getting a first-hand look at the plight of tsunami survivors, especially women and children.
UNICEF aid flight arrives in Sri Lanka with life-saving supplies for Sri Lankan children
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 30 December 2004 - A UNICEF-chartered cargo plane touched down in Colombo this morning bringing essential life-saving supplies for Sri Lankan children and their families.
New risks begin to surface
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 29 December 2004 - The devastating tsunamis that struck South Asia on December 26 have left over 21,700 people dead and thousands missing in Sri Lanka, one of nine countries that were affected by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and its aftereffects.
Asian girls scoring high during Asia Cup
COLOMBO, 27 July 2004 – Girls in South Asia are scoring high as cricket fans celebrate their team’s successes by waving ‘Fair Play for Girls’ placards, during this year’s Asia Cup.
The world of cricket turns out to show support for girls’ education
COLOMBO, 28 July 2004 – Away from the floodlights and the singing choruses of fans at the Asia Cup, some quieter moments were spent reflecting on one of the biggest development challenges facing South Asia and what can be done to help.
14 July 2004 – In the last 19 years, civil war in Sri Lanka has resulted in the death of over 64,000 children, women and men.