The Sri Lanka Barometer Launch

The Barometer Baseline Report 2020- 2021 and the website were publicly launched on Thursday 17th February 2022.

All the Barometer resources are publicly available at .  This website also hosts public discussions and videos of debates and discussions in English and Sinhala and will also include Tamil in the future.

What is the Sri Lanka Barometer Public Opinion Survey?

The Sri Lanka Barometer has been designed to represent important issues in the context of reconciliation and has therefore been designed to capture the diverse views held by Sri Lankans, over a period of time. It recognizes that reconciliation is multi- faceted, and explores the critical issues deemed relevant in the context of achieving reconciliation.

The Barometer findings are based on perceptions of Sri Lankan men and women over eighteen years of age collected by administering a questionnaire at face-to- face interviews to 3819 people. This sample mirrors the Sri Lankan population statistically; the participants were selected using a random sampling methodology, with a result of a 2% margin of error at the national level. The survey was conducted in November 2020 by Survey Research Lanka Pvt Ltd – a company specializing in public opinion surveys.

Key Highlights

  • The Barometer found that the demand for reconciliation among Sri Lankans (regardless of their location, gender, religion or ethnicity) was 8.1 on a scale of 1 to 10. The survey aims to provide a holistic time-bound view of what people think, how they experience reconciliation, their views on the progress made thus far, and persisting gaps.
  • Sri Lankans agree (7.9 on a scale of 1 to10) on the importance of a Sri Lankan identity and the possibility of constructing one –as opposed to an ethnically defined one such as Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim. These views are strongest from those in the Northern (8.3) and Eastern (8.2) provinces.

The Barometer is more than the annual survey; it also includes research studies and discussion papers that are related to reconciliation and social cohesion. The research studies explore Trust- between people and groups, trust in institutions; Buddhist monks and reconciliation; livelihoods of Muslim women returnees using cooperative societies in the North, to mention a few.

The Barometer was implemented by the Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka (SRP). Which began in November 2017 and is jointly funded by the EU and the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by GIZ and the British Council.



What is the Sri Lanka Barometer?

The “Sri Lanka Barometer: Our Voices, Our Choices” aims to deepen the understanding of reconciliation and social cohesion in Sri Lanka to inform the public discourse and help decisionmakers to work towards its realisation. The Sri Lanka Barometer was initiated in 2018.

Attitudes and perceptions of citizens are systematically captured, analysed and disseminated. Awareness of public perceptions on reconciliation is created using multiple platforms and outreach activities. Engaging in dialogue creates a better-informed public discourse that helps to influence actions towards reconciliation.

The Sri Lanka Barometer comprises of four key components:

  1. An annual, island wide public opinion survey measuring public perception.
  2. Thematic studies using largely qualitative methodologies to explore related issues on reconciliation and social cohesion in more depth.
  3. A set of discussion papers and concept notes on reconciliation and related issues.
  4. The evidence-base feeds into an outreach component to inform public discourse