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Lankan wins Franco-German Human Rights Prize

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The Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law will be awarded for the second time since its inception on 11 December. 

It is granted to persons who show significant engagement in the protection and promotion of human rights and the rule of law. It was awarded for the first time in 2016 in Berlin by the German and French foreign ministers Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jean-Marc Ayrault to honour the work of 15 outstanding human rights activists from around the world, and will be taken forth on an annual basis. 

The French and German Embassy to Colombo announced that this year a Sri Lankan has made it into the rows of the 15 winners that have been selected by the two countries’ foreign ministries out of the 36 applicants. Her name is Shreen Abdul Saroor and she is a human rights defender who specialises in women’s rights and empowerment and engages in reconciliation work between Muslim and Tamil displaced communities. The challenges faced by Saroor in her own experience of being forcibly evicted and displaced by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) in 1990, along with the members of her community, laid the foundation for her activism.

The medal will be awarded to Saroor by the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Jean-Marin Schuh, and the German Ambassador, Jörn Rohde, in the presence of Chief Guest Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on 11 December at the German Embassy at an invitation-only event.  

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