Colombo, Human Rights, Jaffna, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance

Looking back, looking forward: A brief chat with HRW Human Rights Defender Award winner Sunila Abeysekera on war and peace in Sri Lanka

Sunila Abeysekera, a recipient of the prestigious Human Rights Defender Awards by Human Rights Watch, speaks on the year that was and what lies ahead in 2008 .

In her interview, Sunila strikes a sombre note and says:

“I think [2007] is the worst year I’ve seen in Sri Lanka in terms of human rights… It’s very hard to have any sense of hope for 2008.”

“The old international community – Norway, Netherlands, Germany – is really seriously irrelevant.”

“No space for civil society.”

“Even if Prabhakaran is killed tomorrow and the LTTE is devastated the issues of discrimination against Tamil people in this country will continue to exist.”

“I don’t think equality is going to come about because we have a military victory against the LTTE – certainly not.”

For a related article on Sunila, please read A Romance with Rights.