Sri Lankan human rights campaigner Jayawardena dies at 59

London, May 31 (ANI): Eminent Sri Lankan human rights campaigner Jayalath Jayawardena has died in a hospital in Singapore at the age of 59, according to medical officials.

Jayawardena had been suffering from heart disease in recent years, the BBC News reports.

According to the report, Jayawardena had been a resolute member of the Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party and was widely admired for his work on human rights.

After being elected in the parliament in 1994, Jayawardena had reportedly travelled independently to areas controlled by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels to provide them with medical help, as the region was suffering through an economic embargo.

According to the report, the opposition member had brought scarce drugs and sterile medical equipment to those areas, which helped prevent tetanus and deliver babies in basic conditions.

Because of his actions, the Tamil Tigers had termed him as a spy, for which he and his family became 'highly vulnerable at the hands of Sinhala extremists.'

Jayawardena was also known for being one of the few politicians to raise Sri Lankan human rights problems at a variety of international forums.

In 2010, ministers and MPs of the ruling government called Jayawardena a 'traitor' and accused him of inciting protests in Britain against the Sri Lankan government, which he denied, the report added. (ANI)


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