Sri Lanka’s top UN Human Rights award winner Sunila Abeysekara died at a private hospital in Colombo on Monday afternoon after a long battle with cancer.
A founder of Sri Lanka’s feminist movement, Ms. Abeysekara was a leading socialist activist for minority rights, women’s, workers and peasants rights. Recently she was prominent on Lankan human rights issues at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. She was also a noted Sinhala folk and opera singer. Ms. Abeysekera, daughter of the late Charles Abeysekara, a noted human rights and social activist, founded Inform, a rights-based NGO. – Ends-
(Sunday Times ,Sri Lanka, Monday, 09 September 2013 19:02)
It was late 2002 when Delhi witnessed a public meeting of a different kind at Rajendra Bhavan. Hundreds of people from different walks of life – activists, writers, political workers, young students – had gathered there to witness the unveiling of an interim report prepared by an international panel of feminist activists which had visited Gujarat between 14th and 17th December, investigated the violence – particularly the physical and sexual – inflicted upon women since 27th February 2002.
The interim report prepared by the ‘International Initiative for Justice in Gujarat’ unequivocally stated : “this violence, which reflects a longer and larger genocidal project, in our view constitutes a crime against humanity and satisfies the legal definition of genocide, both of which are crimes of the most serious dimension under international law.” (http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/iijg/interimreport.htm)
The panelists included leading feminist scholars and activists from different parts of the world.
It was the first time that one had a chance to listen to Sunila Abeysekara. Continue reading Goodbye Sunila Abeysekara