WHO ARE WE SRI LANKA?
WE Sri Lanka aims to create spaces and platforms to share Sri Lankan women’s expertise, knowledge and experiences in all areas; from the personal to the creative to the political and enterprising; to amplify and project women’s voices with the aim of expanding our collective ability to speak and be heard in all areas of life and decision making.
 

MEET THE TEAM

Thushara Dassanayake

Chair

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About me:

As a second-generation British Sri Lankan, I have been lucky to experience and be moulded by the life and culture of two very different countries. I currently live in North London with my family and I work as an NHS Registered Dietitian in West London. My interests are in education, qualitative research, English literature and art in the socio-political context.  I hold a Masters Degree in Social and Educational Research. 

Why i joined WE Sri Lanka:

I believe that if women’s knowledge was heard, respected and represented at all levels of societal decision making, the world would be a more equitable place for everyone. The unintentional, deliberate or societal subjugation of women is to the detriment of us all. As such I see WE Sri Lanka as a space where women’s knowledge is heard, respected, amplified and utilised to empower others  to work towards building a brave new world

Seevali Surendran (née Dassanayake)

Vice-chair

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About me: 

I am from Kandy and studied in Good Shepherd Convent and later Girls High School Kandy. I live in Hampshire with my husband, daughter, cat and dog. I am a Chartered Civil Engineer and have been in this sector for over 35 years, studying at the University of Moratuwa, Loughborough University and Liverpool University. I was previously the chair of the ICE Thames Valley branch Graduate and Student committee, mentored several Civil Engineering graduates and worked as a visiting lecturer at Greenwich University, where I was able to promote and help women into engineering. Currently, I am working on developing a ‘women's technical group’ with the Environment Agency to discuss and improve technical issues with construction projects.

Why I joined WE Sri Lanka:

I always believe women deserve to gain more knowledge and understanding about the world they live in, to empower themselves.  I joined the group to help other women reach their full potential.

About me: 

I was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka and studied at St Anthony’s Convent. I live here in London with my only daughter and her family, spending quality time with my two grandchildren. I love to read, write and play the piano. I’m a qualified TV program producer/ journalist/ broadcaster (Radio and TV) and a trainer in Mass Media, qualified in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. After 25 years’ service at the National TV (Rupavahini) I retired as the Head of Educational Programmes. I have also been a Course Director at the Sri Lanka Television Training Institute for local and International courses and visiting lecturer at the Institute of Human Resource Advancement (University of Colombo) Secretary of the National Rupavahini (TV) Broadcaster's Association a member of the Honourable jury of the national TV awards and Cinema /TV performer. I have been awarded international and national awards for some documentaries produced by myself, including the acclaimed Hoso Bunka from Japan for the documentary "Mehenawara". 

About me: 

I was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka and studied at St Anthony’s Convent. I live here in London with my only daughter and her family, spending quality time with my two grandchildren. I love to read, write and play the piano. I’m a qualified TV program producer/ journalist/ broadcaster (Radio and TV) and a trainer in Mass Media, qualified in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. After 25 years’ service at the National TV (Rupavahini) I retired as the Head of Educational Programmes. I have also been a Course Director at the Sri Lanka Television Training Institute for local and International courses and visiting lecturer at the Institute of Human Resource Advancement (University of Colombo) Secretary of the National Rupavahini (TV) Broadcaster's Association a member of the Honourable jury of the national TV awards and Cinema /TV performer. I have been awarded international and national awards for some documentaries produced by myself, including the acclaimed Hoso Bunka from Japan for the documentary "Mehenawara". 

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About me:

I currently work as a Biomedical Scientist for the NHS and is the current Chairperson for the BAME Staff Network in the hospital. My other work commitments involve training, coaching, and mentoring for NHS Careers. On the side-lines, I am a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Ambassador and have recently joined this great organisation.
Currently in my early 30s, I live in Bath with my partner. I moved to the UK when I was 17 having previously lived in Oman and Sri Lanka. This has given me a variety of cultural influences and an odd accent. My heart and soul belong to Sri Lanka though I am more settled here in the UK.

Parmi Perera (Para)

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Lavanya Loganathan

About me:

I am a second generation British Tamil, whose parents migrated from Jaffna to London fleeing the civil war. I am incredibly grateful to have been brought up surrounded by Tamil culture, whether that be through learning the language with my grandparents or pursuing south asian arts, helping me proudly recognise being Tamil as a core part of my identity from a young age. Currently, I work in family law and enjoy pursuing music, particularly the violin, alongside my career. 

Why I joined WE Sri Lanka:

I was first introduced to the organisation when it was in its infancy and was struck by the ambition of the like-minded women of WE Sri Lanka - determined to amplify the unheard voices of Sri Lankan women. I particularly admired the group's diversity and it was the first time I had seen women of both Sinhala and Tamil speaking backgrounds from a range of faiths unite for the same cause. Our diversity is our strength.

I echo the views of our fantastic team when I say that education and recognition of issues that women face, by both men and women, is the first and most vital step in inciting real change in the attitudes and lives of those within the diaspora and back home in Sri Lanka. Equality is not solely a female issue but a social imperative. Being a part of this organisation, I truly believe we collectively can use our voices to take small steps to empower women.

Sara Stanley


 

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About me: 

I was born in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. I have studied in Ananda  maha Vidyalaya, Kottawa and completed my degree for Fashion Design in Singapore. Currently I am living in West London. I have worked as a manager for 10 years and then as a food hygiene standard trainer for the whole UK branches in a leading UK supermarket.

I love being around nature and the environment, I also enjoy music. In my leisure time I enjoy reading as it is relaxing and I love helping others who are in need to the best of my ability. I am honoured and truly proud to be a part of WE Sri Lanka. 

Why I joined WE Sri Lanka:

From a young age I have always been against cast/class system and injustice.  I have seen many women in Sri Lanka face discrimination.  I like being part of an organisation where showing women the path to build confidence to see what they are capable of and encourage to achieve their full potential.

Why I joined WE Sri Lanka:

The year 2020 has been an odd one. I realised being angry about the injustices, inequalities and narrow-minded outlooks was not enough. I realised I need to be active and make a change. I was introduced to this amazing group of women who were doing various things to make a difference. A few months later, here I am.
I have been lucky enough to have a liberal upbringing thanks to my parents and social education. I am also lucky enough to be surrounded by strong minded women. This has moulded me to become an independent and free woman who has a voice loud enough to stand up for myself and the values I believe in. However, I know this is not the case for everyone. Therefore, I want to be that role model, that mentor, that “akka” that empowers the next wave of individuals who make a difference.
Us humans have come a long way in terms of social awareness and equality, however there is still a long way to go. I believe education and awareness play a critical role and I hope to cheer and support you in this long race called humanity.