Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust (Sri Lanka)

About Us
The Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust (NTT) is an indigenous philanthropic grant-making organization with a vision to establish and protect a just, equitable and peaceful society.

NTT’s philanthropic goals and strategies are driven by the needs and aspirations of the citizens and the social movements in the region that embody the values of dignity, human rights, citizen’s engagement, transparency and equality before the law.

The granting procedure and unique partnership NTT has established have enabled NTT to work with a wide range of actors in developing their capacities for programme design, monitoring, reporting, financial management and governance. National level awareness raising, policy formulation, advocacy and representation have been achieved through engagement with academics, activists and professional forums. Grass root level community involvement has been sustained through strategic partnerships with local organizations, and/or programmes that have been context sensitive and directly involving the affected communities/persons. NTT continues to support sustainable measures that are inclusive, pluralistic and uphold the sanctity of life.

Our Work
Grants given by the NTT are in line with the programme areas identified in its strategy plans, so as to increase sustainability and impact. The focus areas at present range from the promotion of democracy, good governance and institution building; achieving social justice; protecting and promoting women’s rights; promoting pluralistic values; engaging youth in social transformation and promoting arts and culture to further understanding of rights and peace.

As a firm believer in strengthening grassroots communities NTT provides technical support to our grantees ranging from training in proposal and report writing; good financial management practices; programme monitoring and evaluation as well as the opportunity to develop individual skills to be effective change makers in the communities they serve.

Programme area: contributing towards social justice – rebuilding communities through skills promotion

Programme area: arts and culture / youth in social transformation – supporting residential programmes for socially conscious artists

Case Studies:


CAMP – Contemporary Artists Meeting Point
NTT partnered with the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts in this initiative which created a new forum for exchange and interaction of socially conscious artists from different ethnic backgrounds and geographical regions in the country. 18 mid-career artists participated in theoretical and residential workshops in Jaffna, Batticaloa and Colombo to share their experiences and walk through each artist’s personal spaces and experience about the healing process (war, economical issues, and family issues) through a no-holds barred framework aimed at breaking down pre-existing barriers, and creating thought provoking art. In Batticaloa for instance artists were given an assignment to create a ‘culture map’ tracing places of personal, cultural and artistic importance in the district. Through this exercise the artists were able to immerse themselves in the environment of the Batticaloa colleagues. This effectively challenged some of the prejudices and misconceptions they held regarding members of other communities, which in turn enabled the deconstruction of hegemonic narratives created by propaganda and politics, broke silences and expanded dialogues between artists. This initiative has helped promote a group of artists who can work together in the future and further art activism.


Radio drama to promote pluralism
Through the grant given to the Sri Lanka Development Journalist Fund (SLDF), NTT supported their initiative to promote pluralistic values through radio dramas. Eighteen students from different socio-ethnic backgrounds were selected to participate in the programme. They were provided training on producing radio dramas, and encouraged to experiment with the medium to express themselves on issues affecting their community. At the conclusion of the project, the students produced 10 radio dramas on pluralism and diversity. The programmes were aired for 10 days through the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). An SMS survey on the programme recorded more than 10,000 positive responses from the listeners.

Contact Info:


Address: 16/6A Ward Place (Mohideen Terrace) Colombo 07, Sri Lanka. Tel: +94-11-2690991 Fax : 94-11-2690993

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