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Research Professionals

Nadhiya Najab, BBusCom/BComn (Monash)
Research Professional

Nadhiya studied economics, communications and international studies at Monash University, Australia.

Her research at CEPA falls under the Migration and Post-Conflict thematic. She is part of the CEPA Communications team as well.

Areas of interest: Migration, Post-War Development and Communications Strategies

Mehala Mahilrajah, MDP (Peradeniya)
Research Professional

Mehala has a Master's in Development Practice from the University of Peradeniya. She has more than five years' experience in the humanitarian and development fields at the district and provincial levels. Previously, she worked with the Norwegian Refugee Council. At CEPA, Mehala is involved in capacity building and training, as well as research, where she brings her expertise in action research. Areas of interest: Law, Politics and Policy, Sustainable Development, Governance, and Environment

Nirmani Liyanage, MURP (BSU)
Research Professional

Nirmani has a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Ball State University, USA. Her main research area is the making/negotiating of everyday spaces by ordinary people. She has published a chapter on handiya (Routledge, 2016), the road-intersection-based neighbourhood centre which is the basic organiser of space in Sri Lanka. Her latest research investigates the pola, informal periodic markets, highlighting the local production of modernity; the research was supported by an ASPiRE grant and received the best thesis award from BSU (2015-16). Ms. Liyanage has interned and worked as urban planner and researcher at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (Indianapolis, USA), International Water Management Institute (HQ-Sri Lanka), LirneAsia (Sri Lanka) and has conducted community based research in India, Nepal, China, Singapore, Malaysia and the USA. At CEPA, Nirmani Liyanage leads its long-term attempt to redefine infrastructure related research in Sri Lanka, under theme of ‘Infrastructure and Poverty’.

Areas of interest: Politics of space, infrastructure and urban/rural planning, poverty, social/cultural implications of state-driven development, postcolonial theory, the intersections of nationalism, modernism, and development, and qualitative research methods.

Chandima Arambepola, (Universities of Amsterdam and Osnabruck)
Research Professional

Chandima holds a Masters Degree in International Migration and Social Cohesion jointly awarded by the University of Amsterdam and the University of Osnabruck. She has worked in the development sector in Sri Lanka for about five years, primarily working on reporting, grants administration and project management. During a work stint as a research assistant in Singapore, Chandima helped research and co-author articles related to foreign domestic workers, particularly with regard to their health status and their role as caregivers of the elderly. Her main area of interest is labour migration.

Amila Balasuriya, MSc (Peradeniya)
Research Professional

Amila has a Master’s in Natural Resource Management from the Post-Graduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, and a Bachelor's in Agriculture from the same university. Amila has more than eight years’ research experience in poverty, agriculture, climate change and infrastructure. Besides working as a researcher at CEPA, he manages the CEPA Innovation Fund. Areas of interest: Impact Monitoring, Rural Livelihoods, Environment, and Natural Resource Management

Basith Inadeen, BA (Colombo)
Research Professional

Basith has a Bachelor's in Social Science from the University of Colombo. He holds international licenses from the Wageningen University, Netherlands, on Multi Stakeholder Process, and on the Citizen Report Card methodology from the Public Affairs Centre, India. He has extensive experience in field data collection and coordinating in the development sector for various think tanks, as well as research and development institutions. He currently leads the Citizen Report Card — Good Governance tool at CEPA. Areas of interest: Good Governance and Accountability, Multi Stakeholder Process, Post-Conflict Development and Migration.

Krishan Siriwardhana, MA (Ball State University)
Sinhala Editor, Media and Online Communications Coordinator

Krishan has a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from Ball State University, USA and holds a BA in Media Studies from the University of Colombo. Prior to joining CEPA, Krishan worked as an Assistant Lecturer in the Journalism Unit of the University of Colombo. He also worked in the social media department for Projects Abroad and worked as a freelance web journalist for the “Sunday Times”. Currently, he is the Sinhala Editor and media and online communications coordinator for CEPA.
Areas of interest: Citizen journalism, rhetorical criticism, critical theory and political communication.