Talk focuses on human rights in Sri Lanka

Skantha Skanthakumar

Skantha Skanthakumar

An advocate for human rights in Sri Lanka will visit campus next month to deliver a talk on recent developments in the island nation, which has seen allegations of a broad range of human rights abuses, particularly against ethnic minority Tamils.

Skantha Skanthakumar is a founding member of the Illinois Tamil Human Rights Group, which has been monitoring the situation in the South Asian country. Skanthakumar’s talk will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, in the Illinois Room of the Holmes Student Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

The United Nations, Amnesty International, the U.S. Department of State and other humanitarian organizations have expressed concern about the state of human rights in Sri Lanka. Skanthakumar, a native Sri Lankan (who works as a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory), will speak on behalf of Illinois Tamil Human Rights Group about what can be done to stop the abuses. The group has established a Tamil Memorial site in Bolingbrook.

Introductory speakers for the event include Steve Kapitan, co-chair of the DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace & Justice; Rey Ty, training coordinator for the NIU International Training Office; and Natalie Christine San Bidne of the NIU chapter of Amnesty International.

The program will also include folk songs, reflections and a poetry reading. The event is sponsored by the NIU Department of Philosophy, DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace & Justice and the Amnesty International NIU chapter.

For more information, contact Ty at reyty1@gmail.com.

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