Reporting in Sri Lanka
- Free Media Movement (FMM)
The FMM website features
a comprehensive list of media organizations in Sri Lanka, as well and the
advocacy groups and unions who represent them. They also feature a directory
of sources, including leaders of political parties and prominent activists.
The group advocates for greater access
to information for local as well as foreign journalists.
- Sri Lanka Envornmental Journalists Forum (SLEFJ)
SLEFJ spoke out early on behalf of
journalists and media outlets that were devastated in the tsunami. They also
teams out and, in February, released a report about
journalists' situation in Sri Lanka. The organization is led by environmental
journalist Dharman Wickremaratne and can be contacted at ++94 (11) 2873131,
Research and Resources
- Task Force for Rebuilding
the Nation (TAFREN)
Sunday Times editor and AsiaMedia contributor
Feizal Samath says TAFREN is difficult to navigate. TAFREN is "the
best source and probably the worst," he
says in email. The agency has a wealth of information but contacting its extremely
busy members is a challenge.
TAFREN takes a limited role in actual tsunami
relief work; instead, it coordinates the tasks of other agencies. The official
TAFREN website describes the body
as an agency under "a Presidential directive...with a clear mandate to facilitate,
enable, coordinate and monitor the post-tsunami reconstruction efforts."
Almost one year after the disaster, TAFREN is now facing questions about how
far reconstruction has come and where money has been spent. The TAFREN website
explains, "While some criticism has been levelled [sic] at the pace of reconstruction...it
is also true that the scope of what needed to be done is unprecedented in
terms of scale and complexity."
The agency also launched the Development Assistance
Database (DAD) in September. DAD is a web-based application that provides key
information on tsunami. At the time, then Chairman Mano Tittawella urged all
to maintain openness in their reconstruction activities.
AsiaMedia contributor Arthur Rhodes interviewed
Tittawella in August for the non-profit organization, the Reclaim Initiative.
pressing issue of infrastructure; he said that reliable transportation systems
are basic needs to stir economic growth. A World
Bank study of Sri Lanka's investment
climate says that the country's stringent labor laws, shaky political climate
and the possibility of civil war keep foreign investment that could help achieve
these goals at
Organized, but dated by about six months, Geolanka is divided by the categories
for relatively easy browsing. The sister site of RecoverLanka.net, this source
provides topical information and updates on the evolving situation on the ground,
as well as information on community-based organizations. It is a portal for
documents, both official or academic reports and personal accounts. The "Background" section
explains the science of tsunamis and "Revival" contains articles
and links to other news sources.
The "Maps & Data" section contains detailed, sometimes interactive
maps, allow readers to navigate damaged areas on a very local level. The site
is fringed to with links to blogs that cover political issues in Sri Lanka. A
forum without an active narrator, Geolanka is an essential resource and for journalists
- Medical Needs of Tsunami Disaster Refugee Camps (PDF)
A pair of Korean medical teams dispatched to the southernmost Sri Lankan provinces
simultaneously conducted studies to create a realistic report of medical needs
after the tsunami disaster. The teams concluded, as published in the June
2005 issue of Family Medicine,
that although adequate supplies of potable water kept incidences of waterborne
diseases low, acute respiratory and chronic illnesses remained common, as
well as skin trauma and infections. The teams agreed that though aid workers
are crucial in assisting displaced persons, the destruction of existing medical
facilities and loss of local medical professionals needs to be taken into