The members of the Commission were selected by the LST, the partner organizations and advisory group after much thought and consideration. They were selected on the basis of their contribution to issues of social justice, their sympathy to the Northern Muslim cause and their proven independence in the areas in which they work. It is anticipated that the production of a report endorsed by this eminent panel will go a long way to raise the profile of the Northern Muslims’ concerns both locally and internationally and thereby bring about some concrete changes in their lives.
Dr. M.S.M. Anes
is the Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology at University of Peradeniya, he has received his B.A (Hons), M.A and PhD from the same university. He has worked as a resource person for several programs including the ‘Muslim Aspirations and Political Rights organized by Democratic Muslim People’s Congress in 2000, Muslim Dimension in the Sri Lankan Ethnic Conflict conducted by Peace Secretariat for Muslims (PSM) in 2002, the World Islamic Literary Conference organized by Ministry of Ports, Shipping, Eastern Development and Muslim Religious affairs 2002, Challenges Facing Muslims in Sri Lanka conducted by the Asia Foundation in 2006 and Justice, World Peace and Co Existence in a Pluralistic Society organized by the Muslim World League and Sri Lanka Islamic Centre. As an academic he has made significant contributions as an academic to curriculum and institutional development. Additionally, he has served as the Chief Advisor of the Muslim Majlis at the University of Jaffna, Member of the Board of Trustees of the University Mosque, Media Coordinator and Advisor to the Tamil Sangam at the Kelaniya University and as an academic consultant to the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. Dr. Anes has been a visiting scholar at the Center of Islamic Studies, SOAS, at the University of London. Dr. Anes is a native of Puttalam and has insights into the suffering not just of the Northern Muslims in Puttalam but also of the host community that was greatly affected by the sudden and large influx of persons into the area.
Dr. Cathrine Brun
works as associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway where she teaches and supervises students at all levels in human geography, with an emphasis on development geography. Dr.Brun is interested in researching how protracted situations of forced migration and recovery due to conflict and disasters change societies, and specifically how they affect relationships between people and places. She has experience working in India, UK, the South Caucasus and Norway, and significant experience in Sri Lanka. Her work in Sri Lanka goes back to 1994 which was the first time she came to Puttalam and met the Muslims displaced from the north. She has published widely on the Sri Lankan situation, and is the author of the book on Northern Muslims Finding a place. Protracted displacement and local integration in Sri Lanka (Social Scientists’ Association, Colombo, 2008).
Ms. Chulani Kodikara
is a Research Associate at the International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES) in Colombo. She has a LLB from the University of Colombo and an M.A (with Distinction) in Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. She has wide experience as a research consultant working for the Sri Lankan government, UN organizations and other NGOs on issues dealing with human rights, gender, and peace. She is the author of Muslim Family Law in Sri Lanka: Theory, Practice and Issues on Concern to Women, published by Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum, 1999, and the co author of Women and Governance in Sri Lanka (with Kishali Pinto Jayawardena) ICES 2003.
Mr. U. L. Abdul Majeed
is a retired judge of the High Court in Sri Lanka. He qualified as a lawyer from the Ceylon Law College and went on to complete the General Jurisdiction Course at the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada, in the U.S.A. During his illustrious legal career he has served as the Administrative Officer of the respective Courts Apart from his legal career he also has experience as a trained teacher in the Department of Education in Sri Lanka. He serves on several disciplinary panels in Sri Lanka such as the Panel of Disciplinary Inquiry Officers of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, and of Sri Lankan Airlines. He is also the Vice President of the All Ceylon Moors’ Association. Mr. Majeed has served as the President of the Lions Club of Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte in 1999/2000, and District Governor’s Programme Coordinator for 2000/2001. He has won many awards for his work as a member of the Lions Club.
Dr. Devanesan Nesiah
currently works as a consultant to the Center for Policy Alternatives. He has a B.Sc in Mathematics from the University of Ceylon, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Sussex and Doctor of Public Administration from Harvard University. Dr. Nesiah has served as the Government Agent (G.A) of Mannar, Batticaloa, and Jaffna, as the Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Environment, and Women's Affairs, Head of the Policy Analysis Unit of the Sri Lanka Institute for Development Administration (SLIDA) and also as the Chair of the Human Rights Commission Committee of Inquiry into Disappearances. His academic accomplishments include being a Visiting Fellow of the Human Rights Programme at Harvard Law School, Teaching Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government and School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, Visiting Lecturer at Faculty of Law at the Colombo University and visiting scholar at Boston University. He is the author of Discrimination with Reason? The Policy of Reservations in the United States, India and Malaysia, Oxford University Press, New Delhi. 1997; Tamil Nationalism, Marga Institute, Colombo 2001; and a large number of other publications.
Dr. E. Santhirasegaram
qualified as a medical doctor from the University of Colombo and presently works on synthesizing theoretical models to explain biological interactions with magnetic fields. Formerly, he served at The National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) and has also been the Honorary Director of the century old Sri Lanka Medical Library. Other than engaging in medical research he writes poetry. He is the author of AIDS – Scientific Concepts & a Philosophical Inquiry and Heart Attack : Prevention & Treatment. Dr. Santhirasegaram renders a yeoman service to the displaced community of over 50,000 people in Puttalam by being the only accessible medical practitioner. For four of the six years he has been working in Puttalam he was the Divisional Director of Health Services and the Medical Officer of Health.
Dr. Gameela Samarasinghe
is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the Department of Sociology at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Dr. Samarasinghe has a B.A and Masters in Clinical Psychology from Universite Rene Descartes, Sorbonne, France, and a Ph.D in Psychology from Universite De Bretagene Occidentale in France. Apart from teaching, she has made a significant contribution by developing the curriculum for and introducing a postgraduate diploma in Counselling and Psychosocial Support at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo in 2008. She has been a visiting Scholar of the Asch Center at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fulbright– Hays Senior Research Scholar at the Department of International Health at Boston University. She has worked as a Senior Technical Advisor to the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of NEST: Rehabilitation Home for Mentally Handicapped and HIV positive persons and the Centre for Women’s Research (CENWOR). She has widely published on psycho social issues . She has contributed to several organizations, a few of them are listed below. Member of the Research Advisory Group, Care and Protection of Children in Crisis Affected Countries (CPC) Project, Columbia University School of Public Health,Resource Person, Teasdale‐Corti Research and Capacity Building Partnership Programme, Resource Person, Political violence, natural disasters and mental health outcomes: Developing innovative health practices and interventions, Mc Gill University, Canada,Member of the Research Advisory Group for the research on Children Displaced due to Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka, Save the Children in Sri Lanka.
Mr. A. Javid Yusuf
is a lawyer by profession. Apart from practicing in the Sri Lankan courts including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal for 16 years, he has served as Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1995 to 1998, as a special Envoy of the President to the U.A.E in 2000 and as a Senior Advisor on Arab and Islamic Affairs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His involvement in several leading educational institutes in Sri Lanka is also noteworthy; he has served as the Principal of Zahira College Colombo, Chairman of Minhall International Boys School, and Member of Academics Affairs Board of NIE. Mr. Yusuf has also contributed as a journalist and as a leading figure in several sports bodies.
Dr. Nimalka Fernando
is an attorney‐at‐law and women’s rights activist. She is a member of the Democratic People’s Movement in Sri Lanka, which is a coalition of people’s movements, NGOs and trade unions initiating action and dialogue for alternative development paradigms. She is President of the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and the Women’s Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka.