Bridging Lanka staff in Mannar.

Kelvin Fernando

Kelvin Fernando

Programs Coordinator

Kelvin is Bridging Lanka’s Programs Coordinator and Office Administrator. He ‘holds the fort’ and ensures our programs run according to schedule. Kelvin is directly involved in a number of programs including Mannarin Marumalarchi 2022 and the roll out of the Donkey Management and Welfare strategy. He is also responsible for coordinating the overseas volunteer teams who come to Mannar and recently assisted the Urban Development Authority and Mannar Urban Council to complete a land use survey as part of the development of the Mannar Town Plan.

Kelvin hails from the ancient town of Mutharipputhurai (Arippu), Mannar District. Previously he attended the Don Bosco Seminary in Chilaw District for five years and is fluent in Tamil, Sinhala and English.

James Jesuthasan

James Jesuthasan

Manager

James is our Office Manager with an additional focus on urban planning and environmental protection. He chairs the Mannarin Marumalarchi (MM) committees and is a trustee of the MM Trust.

James has years of experience in public administration as well as in the non-government sector as social worker, counsellor, human resource officer and social activist. James has been involved in the development of schools for 20 years and was also the administrator of an orphanage.

James serves speaks Tamil, English and Sinhala.

Staff-Sinclair-Peter

 

 

Sinclair Peter

Liaison Officer

Sinclair is responsible for liaising with the Urban Council, heads of departments and civil society to advance the cause of a prosperous Mannar District. He also arranges stakeholder meetings for overseas volunteer teams. Sinclair joined the team in October 2012.

Sinclair has had extensive experience in the community sector, having been a founding member of the human rights organisation, Mannar Association for Relief and Rehabilitation (MARR). He has conducted over 50 workshops on human rights and conflict management. 

As Agricultural Officer, Sinclair has worked in the Department of Agriculture for 30 years in all five northern districts and in Greece. Originally, Sinclair comes from Jaffna but has lived in Mannar for over 20 years and is fluent in Tamil, English and Sinhala.

Robin Suseelan

Robin Suseelan

Livelihood Coordinator

Robin is our livelihood expert. He worked for several years as Director of SevaLanka in Ampara District and brings years of experience to the demanding area of livelihood development.

Robin helps to create sustainable livelihoods for war widows, returned asylum seekers and unemployed young people through enterprises including a rice mill, catering company and fishing business. This support forms a solid financial foundation for more disadvantaged people of Mannar.

Robin is also heavily involved in our Donkey Management & Welfare Strategy and programs. He speaks Tamil, Sinhalese and is learning English.

Rohini Nishanthan

Rohini Nishanthan (Quily)

Education Officer

Renowned for her sweet vocals, Rohini earned the nickname of ‘Quily’, a Tamil word for ‘cuckoo’. Rohini is Bridging Lanka’s Education Officer and is deeply involved in projects that bring improved educational outcomes and awareness to the people of Mannar.

Whether helping to increase the English language expertise of teachers and students or bringing greater awareness to the public of important community issues, Rohini is there.

Her hard work, commitment to quality teaching and passion for educational excellence are evident in all she does. She speaks Tamil, Sinhala and English.

Karnan Kanapathy

Karnan Kanapathy

Business Development Officer

Karnan is our Business Development Officer and works part time for Bridging Lanka and also for the Mannar Chamber of Commerce. Karnan assists the small and medium enterprise and tourism sectors to build their capacity and to explore new avenues for employment. 

He has a natural flair for connecting with people from all walks of life. Karnan speaks Tamil and is currently learning English.

 

 

Staff-Grace-Pathmaraj

Grace Pathmaraj

Financial Administrator

Grace is responsible for the financials of Bridging Lanka in Sri Lanka. Grace joined the staff team in May 2012 and currently handles all banking, payroll, bookkeeping and financial reporting.

Grace understands fully the ground realities of post-war initiatives and has worked for many NGOs including Jesuit Refugee Service, Sri Lanka Red Cross, Caritas and UNICEF.

While displaced to India, Grace completed her schooling and a substantial amount of a Bachelor of Commerce course. Grace is originally from Mullaitivu and she is fluent in Tamil and English.

Jessy

Jessy Ariyaratnam

 

Staff-Jeremy-Liyanage

 

 

 

Jeremy Liyanage

Director of Bridging Lanka Ltd (Australia)

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Jeremy has been a Director of Diaspora Lanka Ltd (Australia) since September 2010. Prior to that Jeremy worked in senior policy and program positions in local government both in Victoria and Queensland, Australia, for over ten years. His primary focus has been to influence institutional mindset for increased social and economic inclusion especially those marginalised by current structural arrangements.

Jeremy has worked with multiple groups including migrants and refugees, Indigenous peoples, international students, prisoners and more recently, asylum seekers in detention, in ways that build capacity and empower.

His current challenge is to identify constructive roles for the Sri Lankan diaspora at this point in Sri Lanka’s post-conflict history, through community rebuilding projects in Mannar District as well as community dialogue processes in Australia.

Past staff

Ranjan Xavier

Ranjan Xavier

Ranjan contributed many well-developed skills and abilities to Bridging Lanka during his short nine-month sojourn. Ranjan managed a staff team, undertook strategic planning and coordinated a range of programs from tourism promotion to business development. He was an expert interpreter and translator and worked seamlessly cross English, Tamil and Sinhala.

Ranjan played an active role in numerous community consultations on difficult urban issues from foreshore development to housing solutions for villagers affected by annual flooding. He also gathered historical data and oral histories from Mannar District for tourism development. Ranjan’s time with Bridging Lanka was a ‘gap year’ of testing his vocation in the cut and thrust of normal life. Ranjan now returns to the seminary to complete his theological studies for priesthood.

Diron Eliyas

Diron Eliyas

Diron is a recent graduate of St Xavier’s Boys’ College in Mannar and worked with Bridging Lanka for a period of six months.

Diron brought a warm, friendly and ‘can do’ attitude to the team and assisted with the Mannarin Marumalarchi 22 program and the activities of two strategies - the donkey management and welfare strategy and the community tourism strategy.

He also assisted in interpreting between Tamil and English. Diron is currently studying towards a business IT qualification in Colombo.

Kamal Raj

 

Kamal Raj

Kamal had a duel role - Manager of IT Platform, a youth entrepreneur collective committed to computerizing Mannar, where he builds the capacity of many war-affected youngsters in business and computers. He was also part-time worker for Bridging Lanka as the trouble-shooter for difficult issues and challenging projects.

Kamal has extensive administrative and project based experience, having worked for NGOs including ZOA Refugee Care, LEADS and National Youth Service. He is self-taught and proficient in multiple computer programs, graphics and multimedia and hardware. Kamal has certificates in Information Technology and English for Professionals.

Kamal originally hails from Vidattalthivu, Mannar District, and was displaced to India due to the conflict but now lives in Mannar Town. He is fluent in Tamil, English and Sinhala.