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    » 07/03/2012, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka, Christian activist wins National Peace Award

    Melani Manel Perera

    Nimalka Fernando receives 2011 Citizen's Peace Award. The woman stood out for her commitment to create citizens awareness of rights, and combating all forms of discrimination.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) - The National Peace Council (NPC) of Sri Lanka has awarded the Citizen's Peace Award 2011, to the Christian activist Nimalka Fernando, for her work for peace and human rights. The commitment to raising awareness among citizens of their rights in order to create a united society devoid of discrimination earned her this recognition. The awards ceremony - one of the largest nationwide - took place on June 26 last month in the Lakshman Kadirgamar cultural centre in Colombo, in the presence of various religious leaders, social activists and government personalities.

    In her acceptance speech, Nimalka Fernando said: "In all honesty, I am just one of thousands of people and movements from the late '70s who have worked for justice and peace in Sri Lanka. This is above all the 'their' prize, more than mine, and I would like to dedicate it to all my compatriots. As the winner, this award puts me in front of a challenge. But it is also an encouragement for all of us to continue our work. Thank you for wanting to reward peace and human rights in Sri Lanka ".

    Her commitment as an activist began in the 70s in the student movement. Human rights, defense of women and combating all forms of ethnic and social discrimination were just some of the battles fought in recent years by Fernando. Currently, she is president of the International Movement Against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism (Imadr), co-chairman of the South Asia for Human Rights, member of the Nepali South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication (Saape), treasurer of the Mothers and Daughters of Sri Lanka. In addition, she is co-chairman of the Platform for Freedom (PFF), a civil society movement that works with the political parties in the name of the right to life and freedom of expression.

    The NPC created the Citizens Peace Award in 2010, to honour and encourage those in civil society who have shown courage and determination to protect and respect human rights, to seek a peaceful solution to disputes and in creating awareness among different communities. The prize consists in a sum of money, that Fernando will donate among the associations with which she collaborates.

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    See also

    17/02/2011 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka human rights activist wins peace prize
    Winner Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, is executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives. The recognition comes for his efforts in seeking a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the country. The award was established by the National Peace Council in 2010.

    28/04/2006 PAKISTAN
    Human rights in Pakistan, not UN Council, should worry government, say Pakistani bishops

    As the government prepares to join a new United Nations' Human Rights Council, the National Commission for Justice and Peace notes that its pledges are vague and insufficient. It urges the government to ratify international treaties before applying to join the Council.



    30/03/2006 CHINA
    Multinational corporation gives award to Chinese AIDS activist
    Prize money from sportswear giant will fund AIDS orphans centre.

    04/01/2010 SRI LANKA
    Presidential election: general Fonseka meets Mgr Ranjith
    Religious freedom, minority policies, economy and reforms are the top issues. However, fears that the election might be rigged are growing.

    26/09/2014 SRI LANKA
    'Alternative Nobel' goes to Sri Lankan Catholic Basil Fernando
    A member of the Asian Human Rights Commission, he was chosen for the 2014 Right Livelihood Award in view of "his tireless and outstanding work to support and document the implementation of human rights in Asia."



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