Fall 2015

LankaCorps Fellowship Connects Sri Lanka’s Diaspora Community


After decades of conflict, Sri Lanka is on a path to rebuilding critical institutions and creating long-term stability and growth. In 2012, to engage the diaspora community in furthering this progress, The Asia Foundation launched LankaCorps – a fellowship program enabling young professionals of Sri Lankan heritage to live and work in Sri Lanka. For six months, Fellows work with host organizations, attend seminars on the country’s culture and political landscape, receive language training, and meet Sri Lankan leaders. For instance, through this program, Ms. Rapti Ratnayake, a young South African law graduate, has a unique opportunity to enhance her understanding of contemporary Sri Lanka and explore her cultural identity. A 2015 Fellow interested in transitional justice, she is conducting research on Sri Lanka’s post-war recovery and inter-religious harmony.

At a benefit reception in Washington, DC featuring the Foundation’s President David Arnold and Sri Lanka Country Representative Dinesha de Silva, 2013 Fellow Harshi Hettige spoke about the ways her experiences shaped her career interests since returning from Colombo. In his remarks, H.E. Prasad Kariyawasam, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States, highlighted the crucial role of the diaspora, saying, “…for Sri Lanka’s future, Sri Lanka’s aspirations, the contribution that community can make is substantial.” Learn more here.