Dilrukshi Handunnetti on Thinking Sri Lanka: Recalling Legacies of Conflict, Domestic Politics, and Aid
PODS by PEIApril 17, 2024x

Dilrukshi Handunnetti on Thinking Sri Lanka: Recalling Legacies of Conflict, Domestic Politics, and Aid


Dilrukshi is an international award-winning investigative journalist and a lawyer from Sri Lanka. She has worked extensively across South Asia as an on-ground reporter and trainer. As an investigative journalist, she has broken stories on grand corruption and crime, conflict and communities, and dedicated significant time to reporting on women, children, health, and the environment. A recipient of many prestigious journalism fellowships, she won the coveted Wash Media Award in 2014. She was also the Sri Lankan Journalist of the Year in 2012.

Sushav and Dilrukshi discuss Sri Lanka's complex socio-political history, including its violent ethnic conflict and colonial legacy, exploring the role of various events in shaping its identity. Drawing simultaneously from her work and her lived experience of the war, Dilrukshi illustrates the political roots of the conflict, reflecting on the civil war's impact and the quest for ethnic minority rights, including the rise of groups like the LTTE. They also examine international influences, notably from India, China, and the West, on Sri Lanka's political landscape and review its governance challenges, human rights issues, and economic reforms. The dialogue concludes with reflections on Sri Lanka's civic space, civil society, press freedom, and the broader South Asian context of handling dissent and nurturing democratic spaces.

If you liked the episode, hear more from us through our free newsletter services, PEI Substack: Of Policies and Politics, and click here to support us on Patreon!!


Policy Entrepreneurs Incorporated (PEI) is a policy research center based in Kathmandu. Our team brings in the essential local expertise and experience to deliver impactful results that support inclusive and sustainable growth in Nepal. Through our collaborations with national and international partners, we offer evidence-based insights and engage with decision-makers in the public, private, and social sectors to help them make informed decisions.


Policy Entrepreneurs, Inc. | P.O. Box: 8975 – EPC 1960 | Bakhundole, Lalitpur | Phone: 01-5433840 | www.pei.center | info@pei.center