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WE Sri Lanka has a steering committee of nine members who work together in project teams and operational teams to manage and meet objectives. WE are a UK group of diverse backgrounds, faiths and languages.


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Thushara Dassanayake


About me

As a second-generation British Sri Lankan, I consider myself fortunate to embrace the diverse experiences and cultures of two distinct countries. Presently residing in North London with my family, I serve as an NHS Clinical Lead Dietitian in West London. Through my work in healthcare, I've had the opportunity to witness first-hand the profound impact of people’s economic circumstances on their lifestyle, health and well-being. Such experiences motivated me to study the workings of society and work towards social change. As such, I hold a Master’s Degree in Social and Educational Research and my interests revolve around education, social research, and social activism.

Why i joined WE Sri Lanka

It is well known that working-class women are the most overlooked and exploited in all segments of society. Their voices often muted and their contributions ignored in decision-making circles. This fuelled my determination to help change the narrative as I firmly believe in women’s pivotal role in shaping a fairer society.


That's why I'm committed to WE Sri Lanka. It's a platform where women's stories matter, where their wisdom isn’t just heard but celebrated—a place where women’s efforts drive change; providing inspiration and empowerment towards actively building a better world.


Seevali Surendran (née Dassanayake)


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.

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Parmi Perera (Para)

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.

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. 

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Sara Stanley


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.

Shamila Nalimdeen- Ryan


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".

I currently working in one of the North London Council, In Sri Lanka my background has been  Insurance and Banking and I’m partly qualified ACCA Level 4 wish to complete in the future.  Also, I have partially completed Kelaniya University external BA degree due to my relocation to London I could not complete my BA degree I have a diploma in French and  Secretarial studies. I’m a advocacy of equality, diversity and inclusion  because I come from a mixed race family , and I have learnt different values and believes.  

My world is shaped by my belief that we are all travellers in this world, and while we cannot help everyone, we should try to assist those who cross are paths.I live by my motto of remain humble and consider myself equal them to all those around me, we are ultimately “For dust you are and unto dust you shall return” this is inevitable. 

Why I joined WE Sri Lanka

I joined the Women Empowerment  to be the best version of myself and support women to do the same. As a mother I hope that I can influence my child and that the people around me pass on our values that I feel made me the person I am. 

I’m also in other UK based associations trying to use any platform to help my country and the world in any way I can.  

Esuri Bandara

About me

I am a second-generation British Sri Lankan. Currently studying Politics and International Relations and the Vice President of the Sri Lankan society at the University of Birmingham. I also have a keen interest in travelling, music, yoga, and spending quality time with my family.

Some of my proudest achievements are:

  • Interning for the Government of Saint Lucia, to create a green paper proposal, to open a public University with a key focus on diversity and inclusion.

  • Shadowing Senator Dominic Fedee, Former Minister of Tourism and MP for Anse La Raye Canaries in Saint Lucia.

  • Being part of the steering committee for WE Sri Lanka 

  • Volunteering as a Pathways to Birmingham Ambassador for my University, to encourage more donations for the University and for scholarship students like myself, who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Why I joined WE Sri Lanka

WE Sri Lanka has made me feel supported and inspired me to excel in my life professionally and personally. It brings so many women from a variety of backgrounds, to work collaboratively and empower each other. The diversity of the group allows for different perspectives to be considered which in turn allows for a more equitable future. One of my proudest achievements whilst being part of the Steering Committee, was helping to successfully organise events to raise awareness on female health. This and many of the other great achievements WE Sri Lanka continues to deliver is a huge testament to the impactful and exciting things women can achieve whilst working together.


Mandy Gunewardena

About me


I am a second-generation British Sri-Lankan who's parents immigrated from Sri-Lanka across Europe and North America before settling in the UK. My professional background within Public Sector and NGO spaces has inspired me to endeavour into spaces that hold positive, transformative change. I have undertaken a diversity of roles from within care to writing, journalism, research, marketing and fundraising. 

Why I joined WE Sri Lanka


My previous position at a Community Learning and Skills Service meant I worked closely with many female migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who sought educational and career development. I developed a strong relationship with women in this community and learned a great deal about their challenges and needs, as well as about the public resources and opportunities available globally. I believe this connection acted as the prerequisite in my discovery of Womens Empowerment Sri Lanka. 


Being that Womens Empowerment Sri Lanka is the first U-K based establishment to help women in Sri Lanka, I felt extremely proud to partake. The team is made up of such strong, like-minded women who all recognise the need for empowering, educating and facilitating a more just future. Since joining in 2022, I understand that WE SL truly compliments and acknowledges the complexity and multi-faceted nature of women's issues; WE SL operates in various ways to tackle the inequalities that women face in Sri Lanka, WE SL are also always aiming to engage with our members in more meaningful ways. These are the values of WE SL I love, leading me to join. 

Women around the world are on an evolving journey of struggle, discovery, and self-worth. II believe that by facilitating networks of support, donating, sharing stories, educating, inspiring and advocating, women everywhere can unveil their hidden potentials.


It's never too late to feel powerful! 


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