Imadr Asia Committee
No. 1149A, Kotte Road, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka

Contact Us

Dr Nimalka Fernando – Director

Director (Planning) – Titus Fernando

Project Manager – Mangala Fernando

Communication consultant -Damayanthi Muthukumarage

Program Coordinator – Nadeeshani Mahabandara

Account Administrator-Vishmi Abhilasha

IT Manager -Samith Kasthure

International Movement Against all form of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) Asia Committee
No. 1149A, Kotte Road, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka
Tel ( + 94-11) 5757323
Fax ( + 94-11) 2884559
E-mail: 
info@imadr.org

Nimalka Fernando is one of Sri Lanka’s best known human rights activists and the President of the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR). Nimalka’s activism has in recent years generated violent pushback from the Government – prime time radio programmes on State-owned channels have openly and with impunity discussed ways to silence her permanently, and high ranking members of Parliament have threatened her, and other leading activists, with bodily harm.

We begin our conversation by looking at how Nimalka began her life as an activist, from her days at Bishops College and work in the Student Christian Movement. Asked whether, looking back at her life, she has any regrets, Nimalka says the only one is that she should have had a daughter!

Several years ago, Nimalka noted that Sri Lanka is a classic example of a failed state. She is asked whether post-war, she believes the same, and how many people in the country also believe that the country today is a failed state.

Referring in particular to the State radio broadcast which discussed ways to silence her, Nimakla is asked why her work and activism generates so much of hate, so frequently. Following from this, and in light of what she has had to personally and professionally endure, Nimalka is asked how she can inspire a younger generation to take up human rights advocacy and activism.

We go on to talk about the current UN investigations into allegations of war crimes, and given the hostility towards it from government and the general ignorance around it in the South, whether it has any potential to strengthen reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka.

Focusing on the internal strife in civil society, and the fact that human rights NGOs in Sri Lanka don’t and can’t often work together around shared goals, Nimalka is asked how and to what degree, moving forward, they can really help in articulating a democratic alternative to the status quo. Following from this, she is asked whether it can be seen as a failure of civil society to engender and sustain a critical mass in support of human rights and democracy (referring to the oft-quoted ‘silent majority’).

Nimalka ends the conversation by focussing on Mahinda Rajapaksa the politician and activist, with whom she interacted closely in the past and Mahinda Rajapaksa the President, and what led to the dramatic change between the two public personae.

International Secretariat
6 Floor, 1-7-1, Irifune, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0042, Japan
tel: (81-3)6280-3101 fax: (81-3)6280-3102
e-mail: imadr[at]imadr.org

Geneva Office
150, route de Ferney, CP 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
tel: (41-22)791-6263 fax: (41-22)791-6480
e-mail: geneva[at]imadr.org

Asia Committee
No. 1149A, Kotte Road, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka
tel: (94-11)5757323 fax: (94-11)2884559
e-mail: infor[at]imadr.org

North America Base
P.O. Box 1535, Fort Lee, NJ 07024, USA
e-mail: imadr-nac[at]imadr.org

Latin America Base
2727 Melincue, 1517 Buenos Aires, Argentina
tel/fax: (54-1)501-8813

Europe Contact
c/o MRAP (Mouvement contre le Racisme at pour l’Amitie entre les Peuples)
43 Boulevard Magenta 75010 Paris, France
tel: (33-1) .53.38.99.99 fax: (33-1) 40.40.90.98
e-mail: mrap[at]mrap.asso.fr