People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) is a grassroots organization led by human rights activists concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. PEARL uses research and advocacy to promote and protect the human rights of Tamil people in the North-East of Sri Lanka. We have conducted extensive field research on issues such as accountability, militarization, impunity, memorialization, and transitional justice. PEARL’s advocacy includes consistent and thorough engagement with members of the international community, including the United Nations in New York and Geneva, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union states, and other governments. We mobilize communities across the globe to fight injustice and raise awareness about the situation in Sri Lanka.

Lobby Day 2008

PEARL was formed in 2005 by volunteers who went to Sri Lanka and witnessed the human rights violations and the hardships of Tamil civilians affected by the conflict. Upon their return to the U.S. they created PEARL to increase engagement between Americans and elected officials and to urge the U.S. government to play a role in improving human rights in Sri Lanka.


Our mission is to advocate for justice and self-determination for the Tamil people in the North-East of Sri Lanka.


Our vision is for a Tamil nation that is inclusive, free from oppression and able to determine its own future.

PEARL's Key Accomplishments

  • 2007

    PEARL successfully stopped U.S. military aid to Sri Lanka in December 2007, through passage of Sec. 699G of HR 2764. ⁣⁣

  • 2009

    PEARL organized a "Starving for Peace" campaign in February 2009, in which eight PEARL members began a fast to stop the ongoing genocide.

  • Aug 3, 2021


    PEARL supported a lawsuit filed against Sri Lankan General Shavendra Silva in September 2011, who was then-Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN. ⁣

  • Aug 3, 2021


    PEARL has produced five full-length reports on issues affecting the Tamil people including militarization, transitional justice, memorialization, and the domestic judiciary.⁣

  • Aug 3, 2021


    PEARL has provided expert media commentary following international news events in Sri Lanka to centre the Tamil perspective. ⁣

  • Aug 3, 2021


    PEARL launched an incredibly successful reading group that has enabled hundreds of Tamil youth around the world to learn about the struggle.⁣

  • Aug 3, 2021


    PEARL launched In the Face of Genocide, a Tamil-authored museum experience with photographs, historical context, infographics, and an audio tour about the Tamil struggle in New York and Toronto.⁣

  • Aug 3, 2021


    PEARL launched a global advocacy team in January 2020, with advocacy officers in Canada, the UK, the US, and at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The team has collectively held dozens of meetings with policymakers in their respective countries, pushing for accountability and justice for Tamils.

  • Aug 3, 2021


    We developed legal arguments, based on international criminal law, that Black July and the Mullivaikkal Massacre constitute genocide. This is in effort to advance formal Tamil genocide recognition.

The People of PEARL

Board of Directors

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Madurika Rasaratnam

Sadena Thevarajah
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Parthi Paramsothy
Tasha Manoranjan


Our Team

Ahrabi Rajkumar

Advocacy Lead

Ambihai Akilan

Advocacy Officer

Ernest Rajakone

US Advocacy Officer

Mithushan Kirubananthan

Advocacy Officer

Sagi Thilipkumar

Human Rights Council Advocacy Officer

Sutharshan Sukumaran

Advocacy Officer, UK

Gow Naguleswaran

Communications Officer

Gowri Koneswaran

Sr Legal Officer

Vetura Jeyandran

Communications Officer

Archana Ravichandradeva

Executive Director

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Name withheld

Legal Director

Archanaa Lingan

Legal Officer

Avi Selvarajah

Legal Officer

Meruba Sivaselvachandran

Legal Intern, In Loving Memory

Meruba was a smart and passionate member of our team with whom we often discussed her bright future ahead. She was truly a joy to work with and contributed to several important projects, including creating resources about Black July, researching opportunities for accountability, and supporting our advocacy efforts with the UN. Meruba was also our first legal intern, and our experience with her inspired us to formalize a legal team that has since expanded beyond the US and Canada to include Belgium and Australia. This is just a fraction of the legacy she leaves behind.

Join Our Team

PEARL is operated by a broad community volunteers, and a few staff. Our volunteers have contributed to all levels of our work, including our highest leadership bodies.

2022 Annual Report

Since PEARL’s formation in 2005, it has established itself as an authoritative voice on human rights issues in Sri Lanka. We operate at the unique intersection of engaging with policymakers, pursuing legal work, conducting independent research, and launching knowledge-mobilization initiatives to further the Tamil struggle. In 2022, with our strong team of volunteers and staff, we were able to maximize our impact in all three areas. The following is a brief summary of our success.