Community Mediation in Sri Lanka
For most Sri Lankans, resolving disputes through the nation’s beleaguered formal courts is not an option. Despite efforts to improve efficiency, courts are weighed down by excessive case loads and limited capacity, and high litigation costs make access to courts prohibitive for most. For decades, community mediation boards – made up of non-political, volunteer mediators who facilitate voluntary settlement of minor disputes – have helped to fill this void. In recent years, mediation services in Sri Lanka have expanded rapidly, and The Asia Foundation has played a key role in assisting the Ministry of Justice to reactivate non-functioning boards and establish new boards in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, where the conflict made it too difficult for the boards to function. Watch a slideshow of these boards in action in the Northern towns of Kopay and Kayts.
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