Lanka Solidarity formed in 2009 when a multi-ethnic group of individuals based in North America discovered a shared interest in understanding ground realities in Sri Lanka. Fueled by a desire to question exclusionary forms of politics, this group saw the need for an organized and safe space to discuss Sri Lanka's past, present, and future.
In creating this space, Lanka Solidarity seeks to reach out to a broad spectrum of individuals, communities and organizations that deserve forums to express and debate their views without fear. We aim to support these conversations by conducting advocacy and outreach activities that promote lasting peace, reconciliation and political approaches to problems in Sri Lanka and its diasporas.
Our position as a multi-ethnic group in the diaspora enables us to engage the divisive agendas of ethno-nationalisms, militarisms, and religious exclusion that have characterized the political landscape of not only Sri Lanka, but also its communities around the world. We do not consider any actors above criticism. This includes the Sri Lankan State and its supporters, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its supporters, paramilitaries, other members of the diaspora, international communities, non-governmental organizations, policy groups – and ourselves.
Most importantly, beyond critique, we are committed to making constructive suggestions for how Sri Lanka and its diasporas might improve relations across communities, and to facilitating this vital and honest process in any way that we can. We believe that this conversation must hold true to the principles of pluralism and democracy.
We are committed to exploring methods of social and political engagement that can contribute to the development of a democratic Sri Lankan society based on principles of pluralism and equality.
We do not claim to represent any persons living inside or outside Sri Lanka, but rather welcome and engage those who support a Sri Lanka that recognizes cultural difference and protects its citizens regardless of ethnicity, caste, class, education, gender, religion, status, and/or sexual orientation.
As a network based mostly in North America, we are unified by our desire to support the reinvigoration of Sri Lankan civil society, which has been decimated by parties with varying social and political agendas. This includes successive Sri Lankan governments, the LTTE, paramilitaries, those who promote violence, and those who fail to question it.
As a group, we do not ally with any one political platform. Rather, we aim to critique actions inside and outside Sri Lanka that will impede the development of its democracy, and to facilitate discussions of alternatives – particularly the responsible engagement of the diaspora.
We understand that in this ongoing dialogue, participants will not always agree, as each individual and organization has different histories and stakes. However, we are bound by a necessary commitment to supporting a form of co-existence that ensures equal rights for all citizens of Sri Lanka, as well as respect and safety in the communities beyond it. We form our collective based on the idea that the greater community of Sri Lanka and its diaspora can only reach its fullest potential by treating each of its members with dignity. In solidarity, we believe that a just and pluralist society can be achieved.