CEDAW Training for Local Women’s Organizations in the Context of Conflict and Post-War Sri Lanka

A 5 day Residential Training was held in Colombo, on the use of CEDAW and UNSCR 1325 for information gathering and documentation purposes in relation to issues faced by women affected by the conflict. The training was conducted by WMC and IWRAW-AP and was attended by 20 participants (4 each from 5 partner organizations) from the following districts: Jaffna, Vavuniya, Batticloa, Amparia and Anuradhapura. The five partner organizations included Home for Human Rights, Viluthu, Surya Women’s Development Centre, Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum and the Rajarata Community Centre.



By Dayapala Thiranagama

[Editors note: Dr. Rajini Thiranagama (née Rajasingham), was a Tamil human rights activist and feminist murdered in 1989 by the LTTE. She was one of the founding members of the University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna, which during the war, published some of the most hard hitting critiques and exposes of Government as well as LTTE atrocities and human rights violations. Since 2009, Dayapala Thiranagama’s insightful articles to Groundviews have been amongst the site’s most read and shared].


This summer, after 23 long years, I drove to Jaffna from Galle with my eldest daughter. We travelled through the heart of Sri Lanka on the A9 road, passing Kandy, Matale, Dambulla and Kekirawa. We drove past areas where I had worked in 1986 as a member of the Vikalpa Kandayama (Alternative Group), laying down an underground political structure. At the time, I had left my academic job in the university to do fulltime political work and was confronted by two great dangers: increasing political repression from the UNP government on the one hand and the JVP’s second insurrection on the other. In my journey from the place of my birth, Galle, to Jaffna in the north, I retraced my own political journey in Sri Lanka to its conclusion, the grave of my wife Rajani. Continue reading

A journey of sacrifice and love – An Interview with Jezima Ismail


By Ishara Jayawardene

She has fought for women’s rights and has been a strong advocate for Human Rights over the years. A woman who has been praised for her unrelenting spirit and will, she has committed herself to achieving social justice and has been a voice for those who have no voice. A lady who believes in living a righteous life, she always has an ear for those who have been wronged. In fact there is many an activist in Jezima Ismail. Continue reading

Sandhya Eknelygoda speaks for Sri Lanka’s disappeared

When I first met Sandhya Eknelygoda in May 2010 in her home outside Colombo, she was a distressed mother of two young boys whose husband had gone missing. He was last seen four months earlier, just prior to the elections that returned President Mahinda Rajapaksa to power after the end of the decades-long war with Tamil secessionists. She still has no inkling of the whereabouts of her husband Prageeth, a cartoonist and columnist for the opposition websiteLanka eNews (which has since ceased to operate in Sri Lanka because of arson attacks andlegal harassment of its staff, but is maintained overseas). Continue reading