News East West
TORONTO: Tamil Canadians have expressed their condolences for Sri Lankan human rights activist Sunila Abeysekara who passed away on Monday after her battle with cancer.
Awarded with the UN Human Rights Award in 1999, Sunila was internationally recognized human rights activist from South Asia.
Describing her as `a passionate, tireless and courageous human rights activist’, the Canadian Tamil Congress in a statement here lauded Sunila for her services of four decades in documenting “human rights violations in Sri Lanka.’’
She also tirelessly worked on the global women’s movement and defended lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in South Asia and elsewhere, the statement said.
A social and political activist from a very young age, Sunila once upon a time used to use music and drama as tools to promote awareness about social issues before graduating to direct advocacy.
“With Sunila Abeysekara’s untimely death, one of the greatest voices for peace on the island of Sri Lanka and beyond, has been lost. Though Sunila may be physically absent, her mentor ship, courage and motivation will live on through young activists inspired by her work,’’ the statement.
Recalling her visit to its Toronto office in June 1, 2009, the Canadian Tamil Congress said, “On behalf of Tamil Canadians, CTC extends our condolences to Sunila Abeysekara’s children, family members and friends around the world.’’