About Praja AbhilashaOn December 26, 2004, a powerful tsunami devastated the coastal areas around the islanddestroying fishing villages, flooding rice fields and plantations and sowing grief amongrural and urban communities. The disaster affected particularly fishing communities onthe coast, and also destroyed much of the tourist infrastructure of the country. Sri Lankais a very popular tourist destination particularly for north Europeans and hundreds oftourists were killed by the tsunami. There was immediately a worldwide rally to helptsunami victims and millions of dollars were contributed by individuals, businesses andcharities. While the Sri Lankan government was beginning to organize the relief efforts,international relief organization descended on Sri Lanka to provide help. While intentionsto help were sincere, various negative dynamic surfaced resulting in various kinds oflocal responses.Foreign organizations and countries were engaged in a competition for visibility in therelief efforts. Billboards advertised campsites and donations. Journalist and televisioncrews mobilized to broadcast particular interventions. Powerful foreign government andinternational institutions began voicing their interest in working on post tsunamireconstruction plans. From the world bank, The Asian Development Bank, the UnitedStates Agency for international Development (USAID), Japan and the European Unionamong other came offers to the Sri Lankan government to develop policies to reclassifyland on the coastline, restrict their access and use and to rebuild the tourist infrastructureon a scale bigger then ever before. Meanwhile, some Christian agencies were seizing theopportunity of the disaster to engage into aggressive evangelistic proselytism that raisedstrong objections form local Buddhist, Muslims and Christian Churches alike.The NetworkIn May 2005, a number of grassroots, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) andcommunity groups gathered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the invitation of the NationalFisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), and agreed to from a network amongorganizations representing marginalized communities from coastal and farming areasaffected directly and indirectly by the tsunami. By early September 2005 the “PrajaAbhilasha” Network was formed. This is a countywide network composed of25organizations. It is inclusive of all faiths and religious bodies present on the islandalthough there are no institutions churches among membership.The ResponseMembers present at the September 2005 workshop together to identify the focus areasand content of the program. The Network steering Committee then met to finalize theproposal. “ We agreed that the tsunami has only exacerbated the underlying causes ofpoverty in our country. We have decided to focus on the following key issue. Access toLand as it is the core issue of poverty in our society. We agree to work on the right toland as a human right of the people as it relates to the right to life and livelihoods of thepeople, in a context of globalization, privatization and International Monetary Fund(IMF) imposed economic reforms in our country”.
Praja Abhilasha functioning districtsD.D- Development DisplacementH&E- Human & Elephant ConflictWAR- War displacementN.D- Natural disasterL.T- Land TenureT- Tsunami
Partner Organizations’ MembershipOrganization /Network/ Trade Membership with Areas of Operation Related IssuesUnion 1. National Fisheries 12 coastal administrative districts in Solidarity Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee, War, Tsunami, Land Movement(NAFSO)- Batticoloa,Ampara, Hambantota, Matara, Tenure, Negombo Galle, Kalutara, Colombo, Gampaha, [NETWORK] Puttlam with 12,000 membership 2. Savisthri Women’s Galle, Matara administrative districts H/E conflict/Tsunami Organization-Colombo with 1500 membership Development [NETWORK] 3. Praja Association [CBO] Colombo district with 6000 membership Tsunami, Development Displacement 4. Ruhunu Diriya Fisheries Hambantota district with 600 Tsunami, Development Org.-Hambantota [CBO] membership in Tangalle, Unakuruwa, Displacement Welipatanwila, Rekawa, Kirinda, Nonagama 5. District Fisheries Ampara district with 800 membership in War, Tsunami, LandSolidarity (DIFSO)-Ampara Addlachena, Panama, Pothuwil, tenure, Development[CBO] Akkaraipattu, Sainthumaruthu, Displacement, Kalmunai, Oluwil, Marathamunai, Komari, 6. Southern Fisheries Galle district with 1200 membership in Tsunami, Development Organization- Galle Rathgama, Dodanduwa, Boosa, Displacement, [CBO] Devineegoda, Hikkaduwa, Balapitiya, Wathuregama, Katupolkella, 7. United Federation of Colombo district with 300 membership Tsunami Labour/ Commercial & in Ratmalana, Modara, Mutwall, Uyana, Development Industrial Workers’ Moratuwa, displacement Union Land Tenure [TRADE UNION] 8. Sri Vimukthi Women’s Gampaha district with 1200 membership Tsunami, Land Tenure, Org.-Gampaha [CBO] in Munnakkaraya, Pitipana, Duwa, Sea Development Street, Kudapaduwa, Poruthota, displacement Kammaltota, Grand Street, Mankuliya, Kadolkele, Kamachchodai, 9. United Negombo Lagoon Gampaha district with 350 membership Tsunami, Land Tenure, Fisher People’s Org.- in Pitipana south, Basiyawtta, Development Gampaha [CBO] Kapungoda, Thalahena, Displacement 10. Puttlam District Fisheries Puttlam district with 850 membership in Development /Tsunami, Solidarity-Puttlam [CBO] Barudalpola, Kalpitiya, Kappaladiya, War, Land tenure Mohoththuwarama, Palliwasalpaduwa, Thalawila, Palakudawa, Kandakuliya, Baththalangunduwa, Palliyawatta,
Mudukatuwa, Nainamadama, 11. Southern Fisheries Matara district with 1900 membership in Tsunami, Development Organization-Matara Nilwella, Dickwella, Kapugama, Displacement [CBO] Devinuwara, Weligama, Gandara, Kottegoda, Thalalla, Batheegama, Walgama, Jayasayurupura, Kalapuhena, Wattegama, Hanwella, Aluthgama, Welegoda, Hummanaya,Kandegodalla, Kemagoda, 12. Trincomalee War, Tsunami,District Fisheries Solidarity Development [CBO] displacement 13. Kalutara District Kalutara district with 500 membership in Tsunami, Land Tenure Fisheries Solidarity Beruwela [CBO] Kaluthara, ElabadaWatte Sea lane, Sinhagama, Peiris lane Kaluthara North 14. People to People Dialogue In18 administrative districts of Sri Lanka War, Tsunami, on Peace and Sustainable with more than 25 organizational Development Development network. Displacement [Network] 15. People’s Planning In 15 coastal districts operated during Tsunami, War Commission tsunami and minimal presence at the [Network] present situation. At the early stages of tsunami it was a 200 organizations worked together to advocate tsunami survivors rights. Praja Abhilasha Partners’ ProfileOrganization Address Related Issues 1. National Fisheries No.10, Malwatta Road, Solidarity Negombo. War, Tsunami, Land Movement(NAFSO) Tenure, 2. Savisthri Women’s 997/43 Park Lane, Rajagiriya H/E conflict/Tsunami Organization Development 3. Praja Association 66/9B, 66 Watta, Baseline Road, Tsunami, Development Borella. Displacement 4. Ruhunu Diriya Fisheries 57/4, Parakrama Road, Tangalla. Tsunami, Development Org. Displacement 5. District Fisheries 67 Mail Post, Main Street, Pottuvil. War, Tsunami, LandSolidarity (DIFSO) tenure, Development Displacement, 6. Southern Fisheries Devineegoda, Rathgama, Galle. Tsunami, Development Organization- Galle Displacement,
7. United Federation of 17, Barracks Lane, Colombo-02. Tsunami Labour/ Commercial & Development displacement Industrial Workers’ Land Tenure Union 8. Sri Vimukthi Women’s St. Joseph Street, Negombo. Tsunami, Land Tenure, Org. Development displacement 9. United Negombo Lagoon No. 139, Pitipana, Negombo. Tsunami, Land Tenure, Fisher People’s Org. Development Displacement 10. Puttlam District Fisheries Keeriyankalliya, Puttlam. Development /Tsunami, Solidarity War, Land tenure 11. Southern Fisheries N0.90, Kanda Pahala, Dondra, Matara. Tsunami, Development Organization-Matara Displacement 12. Trincomalee Sumedhagama, Trincomalee. War, Tsunami,District Fisheries Solidarity Development displacement 13. Kalutara District Hena Road, Marakkala Watta, Tsunami, Land Tenure Fisheries Solidarity Beruwella. 14. People to People Dialogue No.10, Malwatta Road, Negombo. War, Tsunami, on Peace and Sustainable Development Development Displacement 15. People’s Planning Park Lane, Rajagiriya, Colombo. Tsunami, War Commission Contact Details: Praja Abhilasha Network, No.10, Malwatta Road, Negombo, Sri Lanka Tel: +94 31 2239750 Fax: +94 314870658 Mob: +94 777362610 Email: email@example.com Web: prajaabhilashanetwork.blogspot.com