Human rights defenders from Sri Lankan civil society organisations (CSOs) visited the SAAPE and People’s SAARC secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal on 14 December 2013. The 11-member delegation included SAAPE and People’s SAARC member organisations, namely; Rights NOW: Collective for Democracy, National Fisheries Solidarity (NAFSO), Families of the Disappeared, Right to Life and the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR).
The purpose of the Sri Lankan Civil Society Study Tour delegation was to dialogue with like-minded CSOs and activists of Nepal especially on post-conflict challenges and experiences of CSOs’ engagement with the political movements and parties. The visiting delegation also introduced their initiative, the People’s Commission for Human Rights (PCHR) - a national platform of Sri Lankan Human Rights Defenders - which would be formally launched in Sri Lanka in February 2014.
At the SAAPE and People’s SAARC secretariat meeting on 14 December, the history as well as activities of SAAPE and People’s SAARC was shared with the delegation. The visiting delegates also met with the NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN), the Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) and the Advocacy Forum. In addition, on 15 November, a two-hour long interactive session was held with Mr. Gauri Pradhan, ex-commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).