Sunila Abeysekera, the Sri Lankan activist who spent over 20 years documenting human rights violations in Sri Lanka, passed away in Colombo on 9 September 2013 due to long illness. She was 61 years of age.
Life History of Sunila Abeysekera
• Sunila Abeysekera was a researcher, advocate, and spokesperson within Sri Lanka.
• She was internationally recognised as one of important human rights activists of South Asia.
• She was a leading activist of women human rights in Sri Lanka as well as internationally.
• She started with her career as the drama critic but eventually took to the cause of protecting human rights during Sri Lanka’s civil war.
• Sunila Abeysekera was awarded Human Rights Defender Award in 2007 by Human Rights Watch.
• She was also awarded the United Nations Human Rights Award in 1999 by the Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
• She had been working with the Global Campaign for Women's Human Rights since 1992.
• In the year 1994, she received the M.A. in Women and Development from the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands. In the same year, she won the 1994 year’s award for the best research paper.
• The primary themes of her work include issues of equality and difference in understanding women's human rights as well as promotion of equal treatment for women.
Major Works of Sunila Abeysekera
• Women's Human Rights: Questions of Equality and Difference in the year 1994
• Women and the Media in Sri Lanka: The Decade from Nairobi to Beijing in the year 1995
• Organising for Peace in the Midst of War: Experiences of Women in Sri Lanka in the year 1995
• The Abortion Debate in Sri Lanka in the year 1995
• Consolidating Our Gains at the World Conference on Women's Human Rights: A Personal Reflection in the year 1995
• Representations of Women in the Sinhala Cinema in the year 1996