“I wish to underline, that what I see in Sri Lanka is a total crisis of democracy, rule of law and human rights affecting ALL not just minorities only”
He is the Executive Director of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC).
He has been active in human rights and social action issues continuously from his youth years. He graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Ceylon, Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1972 and practiced law from 1980 to 1989 at the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka with an emphasis in Criminal Law, Employment Law and Human Rights Law.
He was an Appeals Counsel for Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong, for a project sponsored by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1989 to 1992. From 1992 to 1993, he was a Senior United Nations Human Rights Officer-in-Charge of the Investigation Unit in Cambodia under the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). He was the Officer-in-Charge and the Chief of the Legal Assistance at the Cambodia Office of United Nations Center for Human Rights from 1993 to 1994. He has been the Executive Director of the AHRC and ALRC from 1994 up to the present.
He is the author and editor of several books on Human Rights related issues and legal reform issues, and has contributed many articles to academic journals and the media. He is the Chief Editor Human Rights SOLIDARITY and Editor of Article 2.
Mr. Fernando has conducted nearly 100 workshops and consultations on Reconciliation issues as well as on diverse aspects of Human Rights and Legal Reform and he was awarded the Kuwanju (Korea) Human Rights prize for 2001.