San Francisco, March 22, 2013 — On March 22, The Asia Foundation hosted the 2012 inaugural class of LankaCorps Fellows at its San Francisco headquarters for an informal luncheon entitled, “Exploring Their Roots While Giving Back.” Alumni fellows Mr. Sivashankar Krishnakumar, Ms. Seshma Kumararatne, Ms. Sabina Martyn, and Ms. Ann Selvadurai discussed their six-month experience with LankaCorps, an Asia Foundation program that provides a unique opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to live and work in Sri Lanka as volunteers engaged in development activities benefiting the country. The group later visited Southern California for a presentation to members of the Sri Lankan community in Los Angeles.
The recent settlement agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE follows decades of conflict. Attention has now turned to rebuilding a cohesive state that restores critical institutions. The Asia Foundation Representative Office, present in Sri Lanka since 1954, is a vital partner in the ongoing rehabilitation of this dynamic and multi-ethnic nation. As part of this effort, the Foundation created LankaCorps to help members of the broader community of Sri Lankan heritage engage with post-conflict Sri Lanka; and to enhance understanding of contemporary Sri Lanka within the community of Sri Lankan heritage and the broader public. The program’s intent is to foster identification with Sri Lanka among the young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage with limited in-depth experience with the country. Six-month placements are arranged by The Asia Foundation’s Sri Lanka office with established businesses, nonprofits, and government departments. The fellows participate in social and economic initiatives and community activities while gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary Sri Lanka.