Madeline England

Madeline England (Home for Human Rights – HHR): Madeline received her BA in economics from Mount Holyoke College in 2002. She then worked as a legal assistant for a London law firm and as an outreach coordinator for the Women’s Anti-Violence Education program in Philadelphia. From 2004 to 2006, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, West Africa, where she helped women entrepreneurs to coordinate marketing campaigns and business plans. At the time of her fellowship, Madeline was pursuing a Masters in International Affairs with a concentration in Human Rights at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. After her fellowship, Madeline wrote: "The fellowship was an infinitely valuable experience. I learned more about human rights advocacy and research, exactly as I was hoping, and I also gained experience working in a conflict zone. It helped me to develop the skills and understanding to work with community-based human rights organizations."

Peace not propaganda

08 Aug

In response to a couple of recent comments on this blog regarding my supposed bias in favor of Tamils or seduction by LTTE propoganda, I would like to emphatically state that I take absolutely no position on the conflict. I am neutral when it comes to government or LTTE, and I am wholeheartedly in support of all of the people of Sri Lanka. I just want peace.

I am an outsider not looking at the conflict from a Sinhalese or Tamil point of view; I am only looking at human rights. Yes, my work does lead me to talk more about human rights abuses committed against Tamils. I know both the LTTE and the government have committed human rights violations against all ethnic communities, and they both have an obligation to respect Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions regarding the protection of civilians.

However, this blog is a forum for me to discuss my experiences here in Sri Lanka, not an academic paper on the conflict. Since I haven’t been able to travel to LTTE-controlled territory (not for lack of trying; security at the government checkpoint would not let me through), I haven’t seen for myself the situation there and therefore don’t feel comfortable discussing it in detail. Furthermore, I don’t agree that discussing human rights abuse of Tamils and advocating their protection means that I am taking a political stand on the LTTE or somehow against the majority Sinhalese Buddhist population.

As for LTTE propopaganda, I don’t read or listen to it. Most of my information for blogging posts comes from listening to the people who have been the targets of abuse. See my previous post.

Posted By Madeline England

Posted Aug 8th, 2007

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