24 March 2014
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) mourns the death of Mrs. Sithie Tiruchelvam, human rights activist, Attorney-at-Law and former Bureau Member of SAHR, who passed away on 22 March 2014. She is also a founder member of the Foundations for Peace (FfP) network – a worldwide network of community foundations working on peace and reconciliation within communities and has also contributed to the work of the Nadesan Centre for Human Rights. She was also the founder of Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust (NTT) which she formed upon the death of her husband Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam.
Sithie was appointed to the SAHR Bureau in the early stages of SAHR’s formation as a regional platform for human rights in South Asia and remained a bureau member till her term expired in November 2010. During this period she was responsible for the establishment and development of the SAHR Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sithie was a strong advocate for human rights, especially in Sri Lanka and South Asia and was a committed activist for social justice and peace.
The members of SAHR in seven countries of South Asia consider it a privilege that this organization and the regional movement that it sponsors were so closely associated with Sithie Tiruchelvam. There can be no better tribute to her life and work than the promotion of regional cooperation on peace, human rights and democratic development. SAHR has lost a great leader and friend, but resolves to take her ideals forward for a stronger South Asia where respect for people’s rights and fundamental freedoms become entrenched as South Asian Values. On behalf of South Asians for Human Rights
Hina Jilani Dr. Nimalka Fernando