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Ruki Fernando

Ruki Fernando

HRD, Advisor
INFORM
The World Post Article
2016

Like most human rights defenders in Sri Lanka, my work has put me at risk, particularly due to the work in war affected north and east of Sri Lanka, sensitive individual cases I was dealing with, reports and articles I wrote, interviews I gave and international advocacy I was engaged in.

Ruki Fernando is an adviser to INFORM, a human rights documentation centre in Colombo that was established in 1990 to monitor and document the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, in the context of the ethnic conflict and civil war. Ruki Fernando has been involved in human rights and social justice issues since 1997. In early 2007, after having spent several years abroad, he went back to Sri Lanka. As the civil war escalated, he began documenting human rights violations such as enforced disappearances, attacks on human rights defenders, land grabbing and forced displacements. Since then, Ruki Fernando has been campaigning, writing articles and reports about human rights violations in his country, organising protests, lobbying local and international authorities, and supporting the victims of threats and attacks, including political prisoners and returning refugees. Because of his work, Ruki has faced many threats and he was forced to live in exile for several months.

The situation of Human Rights Defenders has significantly improved recently. With the changes in the political spectrum, first through Presidential election in January and then the parliamentary election in August 2015 has greatly changed the landscape for HRDs in Sri Lanka. The previous years saw large scale repression of dissent and HRDs are hoping for a sustainable change with cautious mind.