Who We Are:

Samutthana is the King’s College London Resource Centre for Trauma, Displacement and Mental Health (Colombo, Sri Lanka). The aim of Samutthana is to provide training and support for organisations and individuals responding to trauma in Sri Lanka. Through its training programmes, Samutthana aims to contribute to capacity building in Sri Lanka’s disas­ter preparedness and mental health care in gener­al. Samutthana is a not-for-profit organisation reg­istered under Sri Lankan law with an accountable Board of Directors, supported by the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group (UKSLTG-London).


PTSD in Sri Lanka:

Twin disasters, Tsunami in 2004 and the 26-year civil war, left many people traumatised, and a number of mental health problems began to develop. Civil war resulted in profound health consequences including death, injury, infectious disease and malnutrition. It also resulted in the destruction of social networks, family separation, human rights abuses, and so­cio-political marginalisation, which has contributed to long-term physical and psychological sequela.

Limited mental health resources and cultural stigma­tisation of psychological problems have resulted in gross mental health conditions. With only one men­tal-health professional for every 120,000 people, less than 5 per cent of those who need help are getting it. Approximately 68% of Jaffna residents experienced at least one major trauma event, and most individ­uals experienced multiple traumas. Today, almost 5 years after the end of conflict, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) remains as one of the major issues which need to be addressed urgently.


Samutthana’s Role:

Mental health has not yet been prioritised to the de­gree it ought to be. This is why Samutthana is focus­ing on supporting the development of more holistic and less medicalised services that promote recovery, and that people can access in the community. This is not just restricted to the North-East but to the entire country. Our vision is that more people with men­tal health problems can take part in society and fulfil their potential.

In order to make effective use of our professional skills and expertise, Samutthana liaises directly with mental health professionals – psychiatrists and psy­chologists, doctors and nurses, lawyers and coun­sellors, sociologists and social workers, community workers and relief workers, clergy and teachers – who in turn work with those who have been trau­matised by their experience. We train and support these professionals to improve their skills in order that they can better deal with the psychological con­sequences of Sri Lanka’s post-war era. Our work is primarily aimed at benefiting the armed forces, for­mer detainees, former combatants, former child-sol­diers, victims of torture, war-widows, orphans and the internally displaced, etc.

We firmly believe that we can make a difference to those who have suffered mental trauma over a long period of time, to recover to a life of respect, respon­sibility and dignity.

  • Board of Directors

    Dr Anula D Nikapota (Chair) FRCPsy
    Dr Shamil D Wanigaratne BSc (hons). Dip Psy, D ClinPsy, C Psy
    DrMahesanGanesan MBBS, MD Psy 
    MsManoriMuttetuwegama LI.M., Barrister, Attorney – at – Law
    DrIsuri Roche MBA (Commonwealth)

    Ms Dushy Parakrama BA (Hons), MA

  • Management


    Aiyar& Co.
    ACA, ACMA, ACPM, MFE(Col), Chartered Accountant
    “Havelock Central”

    104-4/1 Havelock Road

    Colombo 05, SriLanka.

    Tel: +94 11 2505516/7
    Email: aiyar@sltnet.lk


    Corporate Services Limited
    F J & G De Saram
    216 De Saram Place
    Colombo 10, SriLanka.

    Tel : +94 11 4605100 / 4718200
    Email: csl@figdesaram.com

  • Centre Staff

    Duminda Wanigasekera

    Nivendra Uduman

    Fawziya Ashroff

    Jerard Karunanithi

  • Mission& Vision

    All individuals and organisations who wish to work at Samutthana are required to sign a declaration agreeing to these principles and objectives and expected to adhere to them.

    Samutthana, The King’s College Resource centre for Trauma and Displacement, is a non-political and not for profit organisation.


    Samutthāna’s priority would be to minimise the impact of psychological trauma resulting from civil conflict and other disasters in Sri Lanka and their aftermath.

  • Objectives


    • The primary strategy adopted is to focus on capacity building for mental health in Sri Lanka.
    • To raise psycho-social awareness among policy makers, planners, politicians, the media, communi­ties and community leaders.
    • To increase skills and knowledge about the effects of mental health – among community workers, primary care workers, statutory and voluntary bodies – by offering training that is responsive to local needs.
    • To carry out research into effective methods of tackling communities and individuals in a culturally appropriate way.
    • To facilitate adaptation to the new paradigms of a new chapter in post-war Sri Lanka.



    • In delivering training/support/ supervision to mental health workers in Sri Lanka, Samutthāna will:
    • Be fair and honest, and treat all those working with us with respect, irrespective of their ethnicity, language, race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
    • Not discriminate, or participate in activities which discriminate against any groups on the basis of ethnicity, language, race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
    • Not accept funding or other support from organisations which apply limits to the use of funds/support offered on the basis of ethnicity, language, race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.


    The ultimate beneficiaries of Samutthāna include civilians who have been forcibly detained in dis­placement camps, former detainees, the armed forces, former combatants, former child soldiers, vic­tims of torture, war widows, orphans and anyone suffering from trauma or mental illness.

    In order to make effective use of our professional skills and expertise, we liaise directly with mental health practitioners – ie. doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, counsellors, NGO staff, lawyers, clergy, teachers, relief workers and community volunteers etc – who in turn work with those who have been traumatised by their experiences. We train and support them to deal with the psychological consequences of the post-war era, improve their skills in mental health work and teach them how to safe-guard their own mental well-being. These groups have been targeted as being the most efficient and cost-effective way of reaching the maximum number of beneficiaries.



  • Functions