Meet The Team
PEARL’s team consists of staff and volunteers in various countries around the world, namely the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sri Lanka. We appreciate the contributions of all of our volunteers, some of whom wished to remain anonymous. PEARL is one of the few Tamil diaspora organizations led by women.
Tasha Manoranjan is the founder and director of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL). She spent over a year documenting human rights violations committed against Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka, and remains committed to pursuing accountability for violations of international law. Tasha was previously an associate in Sidley Austin LLP’s Litigation Practice. Tasha received her B.A., magna cum laude, in Justice and Peace Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Tasha earned her law degree at Yale Law School, where she served as the Features Editor and Book Reviewer for the Yale Journal of International Law, Chair of the South Asian Law Students Association and Community Enrichment Chair of the Women of Color Collective. While at Yale, Tasha wrote a paper entitled “Beaten but not Broken: Tamil Women in Sri Lanka”, which was subsequently published in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.
Mario Arulthas is our Advocacy Director and a Human Rights Fellow at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. As part of his role, he engages government officials and policy experts of various countries on issues concerning the conflict on the island. Mario has conducted several research trips to the Tamil homeland, where he has worked on reforms, memorialization, miltarization and obstacles to domestic prosecution of crimes related to the ethnic conflict. Previously he was a policy advisor at the Royal Borough of Kingston, the editor-in-chief of the Tamil Guardian and a director at the Tamil Youth Organisation – UK. Mario splits his time between Washington DC, New York and Toronto.
Gowri Koneswaran is a writer, performing artist, teacher, and lawyer. Her advocacy work has addressed animal welfare, environmental protection, the rights of prisoners and the criminally accused in the U.S., and justice and accountability in Sri Lanka. Gowri’s publication credits include several poems and two peer-reviewed journal articles on the environmental impacts of farming animals for food. She is a member of the LGBTQ community and can be found on Twitter @gowrimozhi. Gowri is based in Washington, DC.
Anjali (Anji) Manivannan is a Legal Researcher for PEARL, whose research and advocacy efforts she has supported since 2009. Anji is a New York-based human rights lawyer with expertise in transitional justice, gender, and freedom of expression. She has worked at local organizations in India, Palestine, and West Africa as well as international organizations, including as a consultant for the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth, and Reconciliation. Anji is currently the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Unchained At Last, where she advocates to end child marriage in the U.S. She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.S. in Physics from the University of Virginia.
Vidhya Manivannan had worked in the field of refugee resettlement, advocacy, human rights, photography and documentary. Utilizing her skills as a documentary filmmaker and a photographer she’s interviewed and captured stories of refugees from Syria, Somalia and North East of Sri Lanka with Church World Service creating a documentary photography collection, exhibited at the Prince George Ballroom in New York. Vidhya has also worked with the film MATANGI /MAYA/ M.I.A. She is a member of PEARL since 2009 advocating the rights of Tamils in the North East.
Thiviya Navaratnam has been supporting the PEARL team since 2016. She currently works in financial inclusion at Women’s World Banking, the global non-profit devoted to giving low-income women access to the financial tools and resources to economically empower themselves. She holds a master’s degree in international and development economics from Fordham University. She is an advocate for Tamil rights in Sri Lanka as well as immigrant and human rights domestically and internationally. Thiviya is based in New York City.
Athavarn Srikantharajah joined PEARL in early-2018 as project manager for the team. In his role he supports the operations, administration, and growth of the organization. Athavarn is currently completing his Bachelor’s of Social Science in Sociology at the University of Ottawa as a McCall MacBain Loran Scholar (16′). He currently works at the Refugee Hub as a communications associate and as a teaching assistant at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. In addition, he supports a local Ottawa-based youth program to provide low-income communities with resources related education and employment. Athavarn has volunteered with Amnesty International Canada for the past 6 years, and now serves as a director on the National Board of Directors. Athavarn is based in Ottawa.
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) is 501(c)3 non-profit organization advocating for justice and self-determination for the Tamil people in the North-East of Sri Lanka.
People for Equality and Relief in Lanka
1629 K Street, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006