The recent passing of famed Sri Lanka human rights activist Sunila Abeysekera brings reminder of her gallant work and of the challenges ahead in this post-war country. From the Celebratory Memoirs of the Life of Comrade Sunila Abeysekera at Ground Views:
Last Thursday, I was reading an article about Joan Jara, the widow of renowned Chilean activist, singer, songwriter and theatre director Victor Jara, and her family. They are seeking long-delayed justice for the kidnap of a genuine Sri Lanka human rights activist. We extend our sincere and most heartfelt sympathies to her family and friends. Her friendship, commitment to social justice and activism on behalf of the dispossessed will be solely missed by us all.
The author was jailed twice and tortured for his roll as a former leader of a mass liberation movement in Sri Lanka in the 1970s and 1980s, called the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People’s Liberation Front). He rose to the position of general secretary of the JVP but resigned from the group in 1984 over a number of differences, including his principled support for the right of national self-determination for the Tamil people. He was eventually forced into political exile together with his wife, Chitra. They now live in Melbourne, Australia, where they continue to be outspoken defenders of human rights and social justice. (Courtesy Green Left Weekly)