Author: Amantha Perera

Migrant Labor Nepal

Flight to Nowhere

Nepali migrant workers on their way to the Gulf (Amantha Perera)

I’ll call him Kasendra. He is sitting next to me in a packed, sweaty room at the Kathmandu Airport, in one of those uncomfortable iron seats mounted on metal bars. He is clutching a transparent light blue plastic folio and reading the contents within, without taking the documents out.   The documents are from a manpower agency in Kathmandu and […]

Migrant Labor Sri Lanka

Disasters bring upheaval to Sri Lanka’s rural economy

Last year was an annus horribilis for 52-year-old Newton Gunathileka. A paddy smallholder from Sri Lanka’s north-western Puttalam District, 2017 saw Gunathileka abandon his two acres of paddy for the first time in over three-and-a-half decades, leaving his family almost destitute. The father of two had suffered two straight harvest losses and was over 1,300 […]

Migrant Labor

As rural Sri Lanka dries out, young farmers look for new job options

Abandoned fishing boats lay on the banks of the dried Siyambalankkatuwa reservoir in Sri Lanka's Puttalam District, Aug. 10, 2017.

Scorched by a 10-month drought that has killed crops and reduced residents to buying trucked-in water, Adigama’s young people are voting with their feet. At least 150 youth have left this agricultural village 170 km northwest of Sri Lanka’s capital since the drought began, looking for jobs in the country’s cities, or overseas, village officials […]