Writing to Reconcile in Sri Lanka

Write to Reconcile, a project started by the writer Shyam Selvadurai in 2012, with backing from the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka and the National Peace Council, brought together youth interested in writing in English about conflict and trauma as they related to the civil war.

Other literary efforts in English are also taking place: the Galle Literary Festival focuses on work in the language. One of its founders, the writer Ashok Ferry, sees English as the “neutral” language choice in the post-war period, in spite of its colonial history.

This project focuses on these and other efforts in Sri Lanka, taking the country's complex history as a long-time colony into account, and seeks to understand the use of narrative in healing ethnic conflict.