Visaka Dharmadasa

Visaka is the founder and chair of the Association of War-Affected Women and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action in Sri Lanka. Struggling to end the civil war, she was able to bring women together across the conflict lines to work for peace.

Visaka educates soldiers and community leaders about international standards of conduct of war specifically to raise awareness about the importance of soldier’s identification tags and treatment to prisoners of war. She also work on disseminating the content of UN resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, calling for the inclusion of women at all levels of peace building and decision making. She trains women to run for political office and also on power sharing.

She was awarded the prestigious Humanitarian Award for 2006 by Inter Action of Washington DC an NGO consortium comprising 160 non-governmental organisations. In coordination with the ‘1000 Peace women across the globe’ movement, she was nominated for a collective Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

She is a network member of Inclusive Security Women Waging Peace, as well of the global advisory council of Women Thrive World Wide, a member of Global Network of Women Peace Builders and governing council  of National Peace Council of Sri Lanka.

Visaka Dharmadasa holds a degree in negotiations and mediation skills from the United States Institute for Peace, Washington, and in women and security from Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.