Remembering Sunila

Sunila Abeysekera, 1952 - 2013

Sunila Abeysekera, 1952 – 2013

To the Urgent Action Fund Community,

It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our former board chair, Sunila Abeysekera, earlier today in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is a sad moment for human rights activists in Sri Lanka and around the world. And it is a sad moment for all of us at Urgent Action Fund. Today we also honor the leadership and passion she brought to our organization.

Sunila shaped Urgent Action Fund’s vision for equality and justice in the world. She knew the realities that are faced by women’s human rights defenders everyday and under her tenure, UAF developed new programs to support and sustain activists. Her own activism never wavered, despite the many risks she faced. Sunila always found a way forward.

In the midst of the most difficult situations, Sunila retained her excellent sense of humor. We remember her today: making us laugh at board meetings even in the midst of hard conversations; challenging us to hone our politics of women’s rights organizing; providing much needed perspectives and insights. Sunila’s legacy will live on in Urgent Action Fund’s work and through the many other lives she touched.

We send our deepest condolences to her family, who meant the world to her. Together with many others, we pay our respect to Sunila’s many contributions and celebrate her life.

In sorrow and in solidarity,

The board and staff of Urgent Action Fund