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Lahiru Weerasekara

Youth for Change (YFC)

Lahiru Weerasekara is a prominent youth activist, former student leader and human rights rights campaigner. He is the National Organiser of Youth for Change (YFC) and has been active in the peaceful protests taking place in Sri Lanka linked to the economic crisis. Protesters have been calling for a change in the system of governance, an end to impunity, corruption and mismanagement as well as accountability for crimes, including but not limited to economic crimes. Lahiru Weerasekara has been at the forefront of peaceful protests and in the campaign against ongoing reprisals against protesters including violence, and persecution under anti-terror law of peaceful protesters.

The situation for human Rights Defenders has significantly improved since Maithripala Sirisena came to power in January 2015, with improved conditions for freedom of expression, civil society and judicial independence. The Sirisena administration has ushered in a broad reversal of the country’s authoritarian drift under Mahinda Rajapaksa, but human rights defenders fighting against corruption, enforced disappearances or defending environmental rights remain at great risk.