Dr Gilberto Algar-Faria
Syed Mohammed Ali
Syed Mohammad Ali is an anthropologist with twenty years of experience working on international development, governance, human rights, and human security challenges within the South Asian context. Besides his academic writings, which include a book, several book chapters and academic articles, Dr Ali writes a weekly newspaper op-ed since 2004. Dr. Ali is a Non-Resident Scholar affiliated with the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. He does research on varied socio-cultural and political challenges confronting Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. He is experienced in preparing a variety of evidence-based reports, including project evaluations, terrain assessments, and policy and position papers for bilateral and multilateral agencies, and for prominent think-tanks like the United States Institute of Peace. Dr. Ali has also taught graduate and undergraduate level in Australia and the United States. Recently, he has been teaching graduate seminar courses at American, Georgetown, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins Universities. Dr. Ali also speaks Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
Frederica Jansz, currently residing in the United States, has lived in Sri Lanka for over four decades and has worked actively as a journalist and editor of a leading national newspaper. She has extensive experience in regularly commenting on a society that was caught in war, then one that was in between war and peace. She has spoken at numerous international forums and is currently actively involved in functioning as an Expert Witness for Sri Lankan asylum seekers. Her company, ‘Asylum Pro Consultancy,’ works actively with UK based law firms and provides an Expert Witness service as well as document verification.
Dr Neil DeVotta
Neil DeVotta was born in Sri Lanka and had his primary and secondary education in the country before moving to the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in politics from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently an Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He has written extensively on Sri Lanka and returns regularly to the island to pursue his various research interests.
Ms. Harrison was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, as well as the School of Oriental & African Studies, and Imperial College in London. She is currently project manager for the International Truth and Justice Project – Sri Lanka which comes under the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa, which is run by a former South African Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner. From 2000-4 she was the resident BBC Correspondent in Sri Lanka, traveling extensively to the north of the island to rebel held areas in the Vanni and to the government-held Jaffna Peninsula. Ms. Harrison recently researched and wrote a book on the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, called Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War , which covers the 2009 phase of the conflict and immediate aftermath based on interviews with Tamils throughout Europe and Australia. Ms. Harrison also produced a documentary film for the BBC on the on systematic on-going human rights violations in Sri Lanka after the war. After the documentary she put together a project to take testimony from 40 survivors of sexual violence and torture from Sri Lanka resulting in a report entitled Sri Lanka’s Unfinished War launched by Yasmin Sooka and the Bar Human Rights Committee. She has continued to work for Ms. Sooka in a project documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka with the help of several experienced ex ICTY prosecutors and investigators and transitional justice and gender experts.
Dr Kanchana Ruwanpura
Dr Kanchana Ruwanpura is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geosciences. While a dual citizen (British-Sri Lanka), as a native of Sri Lanka, Dr. Ruwanpura’s primary focus of research has been on gender, ethnicity and conflict, post-disaster politics, and more recently labour politics, focussing primarily on Sri Lanka. Her research spans three broad themes: a) the diversity of lived and structured spaces which focus on the connections between ethno-nationalism, post-disaster, materiality and the environment; b) the convergence and divergence of global governance regimes as everyday experiences for labour; and c) connections between civil society initiatives and uneven development processes. Her publications include: Garments without guilt? Uneven labour geographies and ethical trading—Sri Lankan labour perspectives (2015); Women, armed conflict, and peacemaking in Sri Lanka: Toward a political economy perspective (2010) and Between the war and the sea: critical events, contiguities and feminist work in Sri Lanka (2007).
Dr Gil Daryn
Dr Gil Daryn is a social anthropologist (Ph.D. Cambridge 2002) and published scholar with expertise on the culture, society, history and politics of South Asia. Since 1989, he has visited, conducted research, worked and lived in the region for a total of over thirteen years, and currently resides in the region. In addition, he became professionally involved with asylum seekers and refugees while working in UNHCR’s Kathmandu office as an Associate Durable Solutions Officer during 2008-9. In this capacity, he went through UNHCR’s archives, read in detail many private refugee files, and became familiar with Pakistan’s Country of Origin information and the RSD process. In addition, he also conducted focus group discussions and interviews with many refugees and held detailed discussions with them. Since 2005, Dr Daryn has served as a consultant and expert on asylum and human rights and has written over 170 Expert Witness Reports. In recent years he also contributed information about specific issues to ACCORD (Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation).
Among the issues Dr Daryn often writes about are: the justice system, gender issues including so-called ‘honour killing’ and gender minorities, sectarian violence, criminal and terrorist groups, land disputes, the health including mental health systems, minority groups, political parties, and other aspects of culture, society and history of the countries in South Asia.
Reports, Commentaries and Relevant Documents:
- Commentary on the April 2012 Sri Lanka OGN Published by Still Human, Still Here with commentaries on the Operational Guidance Notes (OGN) issued by the UK Border Agency on Sri Lanka. This is intended as a tool to assist legal practitioners identify the relevant country of origin information and to help ensure that all relevant material is considered by decision-makers.
- Commentary on the December 2011 Sri Lanka OGN .
- Commentary on the March 2011 Sri Lanka OGN . Published by Still Human, Still Here with commentaries on the Operational Guidance Notes (OGN) issued by the UK Border Agency on Sri Lanka. This is intended as a tool to assist legal practitioners identify the relevant country of origin information and to help ensure that all relevant material is considered by decision-makers.