28 October, 2020

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Sunila Has Given To The World, Now It’s Time To Give To Her!

“We are writing to ask you to join a solidarity effort for our dear friend Sunila Abeysekera, a leading women’s human rights defender, who is in a life struggle with cancer.” says the ‘Team Sunila’

Sunila has been a lifelong feminist and human rights activist in Sri Lanka and South Asia, and a major player in the global women’s movement (see bio below). She is currently based at the Institute for Social Studies in The Netherlands as the recipient of a Scholars At Risk fellowship. These fellowships are awarded to individuals who face potential violence in their own country as a result of their human rights work.

Sunila has lived a courageous life on the forefront of many social movements, fighting relentlessly for justice and human rights–for women and on behalf of all those who experience identity-based discrimination, persecution and marginalization.  She has nurtured and supported countless women and men of all ages the world over, inspiring many-both directly and by example-to challenge abusive authority at the local, national and international levels.

Sunila was diagnosed with late stage cancer in the Netherlands in November 2012 and has been receiving treatment there.  At this point she is weighing options about where to receive treatment–likely in South Asia. She faces the prospect of significant-and possibly protracted-uncovered medical, travel and living costs in this fight for her life. What Sunila is facing now is the lot of many other activists–whose lives fighting for social justice often precludes their ability to focus on their own well-being and financial security.

We are reaching out to Sunila’s beloved community of friends and colleagues around the world to ensure that cost is not an obstacle preventing her from getting the best care possible. It is difficult to know exactly how much will be needed, but we are seeking to raise US $25,000 this month to ensure she does not have to worry about the expenses. She has given to the world, now it’s time to give to her.

Please donate on this site! Click here
Kamla Bhasin, Charlotte Bunch, Roxanna Carrillo, Amrita Chhachhi,  Susanna George, Kumi Samuel

If questions, email SunilaSolidarity@gmail.com

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Latest comments

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    I have belonged to a family who have had several members,including my father been affected with cancer here in SL we have the doctors and the medication to treat and to give a patient a fairly normal life among her friends.

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    I have met Sunila when she was in Sri Lanka. We are not friends but I know of her work from reading about it online and in the media. As Sri Lankans we are aware that she has been criticized and targeted for her work on Human Rights. I haven’t always agreed with her choices but would like to appeal to people reading this post and to people commenting on this thread to appreciate the sensitive nature of illness and the appeal that is being made on her behalf. It is not an easy position for Sunila or her family to be in. I would like to request readers/commentators to be sensitive to this and if you are unable to support her financially, at least avoid making unproductive comments.

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    Tamil diaspora ,HRW, Channel 4 and A1 will give her big donations

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    Yes, KK rightly said. We can remember when we were in India, she came with a team to talk against her own motherland. I do not think that something is wrong when one has to suffer from such a problem when he or she stands against her or his own country. They are the most wretched people in the world. So Diaspora, HRW, Channel4, and all such will fund her to recover from this. We humbly wish a soon recovery.

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      Her motherland was Sri Lanka, not the terrorland. She spoke against the terrorland not her motherland. Also if the motherland becomes Terrorland or horrorland you have to speak up. That is the best you can do to your motherland.

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    [Edited out].

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    [Edited out]

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    I have never agreed with Sunila on Human Rights or Women’s rights or any rights for that matter. But as a fellow human being and a person who has lost loved ones to cancer I feel really sad to hear this news. Late stage cancer is hardly curable unless she gets some super speciality medical treatment somewhere in the US or Europe or countries like Singapore or even India but it would cost a fortune. Sri Lanka is totally out of question as the facilities we have here are very poor (that too for late stage cancers) and even the doctors aren’t that helpful except fixing deadlines for patients.

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      Even late stage cancer has been cured by alternative medicine in EU.
      I have seen this at http://www.budwigcenter.com site – worth a visit to
      all who need some knowledge of this illness & prevention.

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        Yes it’s possible in EU !!

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    [Edited out]

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    Dear Sunila Aunt,I wanted to write to you, at least few words, just to let you know how much I’ve been thinking about you all these days. During the cold and dark days in our lives, you always stood beside us, gave us love and warmth of your heart and helped me to find my way out of the darkness. Despite all the bitterness in my life, I always felt the world around me still can be a better place with people like you. I still remember every bit of your love and hope that my love would bring all my strength to you at this moment.You are in my thoughts with hopes and wishes that all will be well with you.

    Stay strong as you have always been and get well soon Sunila Aunty.

    Love you so much From Berlin, Ruwandi

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    Cancers in later stages are incurable. Apart from some contributions, all we can do is pray for her health. I have seen and listened few of her conversations, she is fearless among the few journalists motherland has produced. People that see it her being going against motherland should have to make their definitions differently. Today, there are almost no brave journalists to react in the country even if MR would behead his people on broad day light. We have reached to over the limits when it goes for human security in the country today… all these are because of the criminal minded politicians that make up the majority in parliaments and provincial councils- Rulers strengthen the hands of those criminals day to another by not paying due attention and not punishing brutal criminals according to the country^s laws- In a such environment there is no choice for the people today, so they just stay blind and deaf.

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    she is one person who stood for truth ,equality and humanity. she is a real patriotic who worked fearlessly for the oppressed and underprivileged communities of srilanka unlike pseudo patriotics who always complaints of international conspiracies.I prey for her and will contribute her assistance as far as I possible

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    She deserves respect.. if not for her political views but for her contribution through her voice. One of the best female vocalists this country has ever produced.
    Wish she will be well till the end..!

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    A great lady. A lone voice of truth and sincerity among a cackle of self-seeking puritans. Her contribution to humanity notwithstanding race creed or colour will eventually be etched in history. It is a great pity that she has to endure this dreaded disease when she has so much more work to accomplish in life. I do not know her personally but know someone who nearly 20 years ago spoke in glowing terms about her father as a quiet liberal puritan. He was another great personality who was keenly devoted to arts and culture and whose whose philosophy in life was to live and let-live.This was from an employee of the Ceylon Steel Corporation of which her father was Chairman. The vagaries of providence are indeed mysterious if not devastatingly cruel. I do hope this great lady recovers soon and is completely rid of this scourge. I do believe in miracles. Sometimes. I do hope this is another of those times and I pray to Allah for his mercy for her.

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    [Edited out]

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    She fought fearlessly and stood for rights of the oppressed. My prayers go to her for speedy recovery.
    Maryam

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    Sister Sunila, be strong and smart as always you have been you are a fighter, fight the battle, don’t be dismayed. Your contributions are valed here and in the world. Fighters for justice will not die, they just fade away. Death will be afraid to lay its icy hands on you. You have to live to fight for injustice.

    Our prayers are always with you.

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    you are you and i am i
    you are not in this world to live up to mine
    i am not in this world to live up to mine
    but we find each other
    it’s beautiful
    LONG LIVE SUNILA !

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    Sunila we will donate to your cause. In gratitude for what you have done for this country. Thank you Sunila, for all you have done to defend the people who had no voice. Thank you for the incredible kindness you have shown random people and the people around you. Thank you for the strength, you have strengthened others. Thank you for your humility you have gained many peoples love and respect. Sometimes the good one does is not recognized in their lifetime and sometimes the truth wont be celebrated but you have touched many and changed lives forever. That is enough…God Bless you.

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    Dear Sunila,
    It pains us to know that someone of your spirit and fortitude has been struck so unfairly. We salute you from far and near for everthing you stood for. Your dedication and sincerity to the cause of the oppressed and the downtrodden cannot be forgotten. We hope and pray that you will conquer this disease with the same fighting spirit that has been so much a part of your character so far. We pray to Allah to give you the strength and courage to do so. Amen.

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