Rajini Thiranagama Commemoration, Jaffna (21, 22 Sep. 2014)

Sep 23rd, 2014 | By | Category: OTHER STORY, samabima english

By Damith Chandimal

<span style=”color: #141823;”>Dr. Rajani Thiranagama, a prominent human rights activist and author, a medical doctor, and head of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Jaffna, was assassinated near her home in 1989 at the age of thirty-five. Her death was an immense tragedy for the community and was symbolic of a climate of terror and human disregard that ultimately left hundreds of thousands dead throughout the country. Rajani’s death represented a moral crisis within the community, and a crisis of governance and education that continues to mar our future. </span><br style=”color: #141823;” /><br style=”color: #141823;” /><span style=”color: #141823;”>A Tamil from northern Sri Lanka, she married a Sinhala political activist from the south, and despite being aware of the dangerous consequences of speaking out, chose to remain in the north with her people. By the time of her assassination she was a mother of two young daughters. She was one of the founding members of the renowned human rights group UTHR-J (University Teachers for Human Rights Jaffna) and the co-author of their book The Broken Palmyrah, which exposed the atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict, including the Sri Lankan armed forces, the Indian Peace keeping Force and armed groups such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other militant movements. Rajani was also at the forefront of establishing Poorani, a home for women in Jaffna, who were rendered destitute by the threatening and constraining conditions of war in the north of Sri Lanka. As a feminist and social activist, Rajani strove hard to create spaces for women’s collective action. After Rajani’s assassination, two of her co-authors, Rajan Hoole and Kopalasingam Sritharan, and fellow members of the UTHR-J, have continued to report on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, inspired by Rajani’s memory and determination. Forced to function underground upon Rajani’s death, UTHR-J became one of the few non-partisan voices in Sri Lanka. In 2007 they were awarded the prestigious Martin Ennals Human Rights Award.</span>

<a href=”http://www.rightsnow.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/d2.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-5529″ src=”http://www.rightsnow.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/d2.jpg” alt=”d2″ width=”300″ height=”200″ /></a>

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment