Kerry McBroom

Kerry McBroom (Home for Human Rights – HHR): Kerry has shown her commitment to law and justice throughout her academic career. She designed her own major in International Human Rights at Cornell University and volunteered in the New York State juvenile justice system. She also volunteered for human rights projects in Germany (post-conflict reconciliation), India (child rights), and Denmark (HIV/AIDS awareness). At the time of her fellowship, Kerry was pursuing legal degrees at American University Washington College of Law and in Paris at Université Paris X. Kerry has also worked for clients in Darfur, Cyprus, and Uganda as a research assistant for the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) at AU, and interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. After her fellowship, Kerry wrote: “I think I did everything that a human rights activist can possibly do - from writing legal briefs/reports to interviewing victims in the field to working with donors. The fellowship made me more confident and showed me that I have a lot more to learn. I know that everything I learned this summer will inform my approach to academic projects, future professional endeavors, and my day-to-day activities."


16 Aug

I’ve just returned from a very intense week of travel around Sri Lanka.  I heard inspiring and heartbreaking stories from torture survivors, displaced people, victims of military harassment, and targets of ethnic hatred.  I also had the privilege to meet the human rights activists who courageously tackle these issues in the face of regular intimidation.

At the same time, the trip gave me the opportunity to take in beautiful landscapes, amazing home cooked meals, gorgeous untouched beaches, and incredibly elaborate Hindu Temples.

This is a barber shop

While I work on processing the immensity of last week, I’ll leave you with something lighter: a sampling of Sri Lankan cuisine.


Breakfast includes a selection of fruits: plantains, papaya, mango (sprinkled with chili powder), wood apple, pineapple, jackfruit, coconut, and the list goes on…


Sri Lankans will also eat bowl-shaped crepe-like hoppers, string hoppers (vermicelli patties), or pittu (wheat flower mixed with coconut) with dal, curry, or sambol, a delicious mix of coconut, chili pepper, and onion. I’ve also had roti, bread with jam and butter, and seven-dollar boxes of mango-flavored Corn Flakes for breakfast.

all-stars making hoppers and roti:


Snacks and Tea

At about 10:30 teatime rolls around.  “Short eats,” samosas, fried potato with curry, or roti, might accompany tea.  For people who want to take in high levels of sugar and milk minus the tea, a mango-flavored milk-box does the trick.

Short Eats

Buns, Cakes, Rotis, at Canny's




Rice and curry constitutes the staple dish of any Sri Lankan’s diet (a possibility for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!). At lunch I usually get 70 cent prepared packet of vegetable, chicken, or fish rice and curry.  Lunch might be served in a styrofoam box, in six plastic bags, or in a banana leaf.  While slight differences exist between ethnic groups- Singhalese eat red rice and Dutch Burghers add sugar to the mix- the basic lunch parcel will always contain a hunk of rice and several sauces, curries, and vegetables   Once I open my parcel, I dig in with my finger-tips and combine the curry, vegetables, chili pepper, and sauces.   Then I’ll grab handfuls of rice and curry, bags of sauces, and fried chip-like papadums to pass between friends.


mixing lunch

burgher rice and curry

homemade lunch


In addition to rice and curry, Colombo offers sushi, Indian food, Thai food, and great veggie burgers (for a price).  Sometimes I’ll stop for Kottu, a stir-fry of rotti with egg, fish, or chicken.  I usually hear the sharp clanging of blades slicing the rotis before I know exactly where I’ll get it.


Then of course there are those times when Pizza Hut is so necessary.

This week on the road was fascinating, exhausting, and overwhelming. Through it all, I always managed to sit down with my team to share our ideas, a good laugh, and a delicious meal.

Posted By Kerry McBroom

Posted Aug 16th, 2010


  • Jefferson

    August 16, 2010


    Looks Delish! We come to plate!

  • iain

    August 23, 2010


    Very appetizing – although not sure that pizza belongs on this menu! You bring out a side to Sri Lankan life that most people do not get to see. Refreshing…

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