Nerves of steel | Sunday Observer

Nerves of steel

Sandhya Ekneligoda’s legal triumph over the notorious Bodu Bala Sena monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera is a victory for victims and human rights defenders like her all over the country.

When he was convicted in May, she said, “He has hurt so many people in this country, I am glad he has faced justice today.” Last week’s sentencing which came one day ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Aluthgama communal riot, following a rally in the area by the BBS, brings similar catharsis.

Sandhya’s husband Prageeth has been missing for eight years. She struggles daily to bring up their boys. And yet her battles for justice transcend her own story as a disappearances campaigner. Through the vile threats and ugly social media campaigns against her, Sandhya battled it out in court for two years, supported by a strong team from the Attorney General’s Department and a fearless and impartial magistrate at the Homagama Court. Take a good look at her, this lone woman in a simple Kandyan sari. She is the face of Sri Lanka’s human rights battle; the face of everyone still seeking truth and justice.

Her small victory last Thursday is only a side story in her journey to find justice for Prageeth. But even through her own grief she finds the strength to stand up for others who have been wronged; and the courage to stand up to those who have wronged them. ‘Je suis Sandhya’. We salute you.

(Pic: Shiran Illanperuma/Twitter)