The right to truth is often linked to healing in the wake of trauma. The International Centre for Transitional Justice says “truth can assist in the healing process after traumatic events; restore personal dignity, often after years of stigmatization; and safeguard against impunity and public denial.”

Sri Lanka has its own stories of people who have slipped through the cracks – people who have suffered trauma and have been denied this basic right.

There are many more tales of those displaced, by conflict, natural disaster or even due to development, whose rights are violated in numerous ways. Often, their stories fade from the headlines within a few days – if they are recorded at all.

March 24 was the International Day for the right to Truth on Gross Human Rights Violations, and for the Dignity of Victims. To commemorate the day, Groundviews recorded stories of those displaced and voiceless; ripped suddenly from their homes, left to pick up the pieces and start over again, with little to no acknowledgment of their suffering from the state, and from society writ large, especially those in urban and suburban enclaves.

We’ve created an interactive map featuring some instances where residents and citizens were deprived of their basic rights. This is just a snapshot of the many injustices faced by those who have been marginalised by the state. In-depth case studies of each place featured will follow shortly.

View the StoryMap here, or below: