Bureau Members

Sultana Kamal – Chairperson

Sultana is a Bangladeshi human rights lawyer and activist who currently serves as the Chairperson of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). She was the former Executive Director of Ain-o-Salish Kendra (ASK). She is also the Co-chair of International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission and leads campaigns on violence against women and environmental issues.
Sultana was appointed as advisor for President Lajuddin Ahmed’s caretaker government during Bangladesh’s political crisis in 2006. In 1971, she joined the Mukti Bahini – Bangladesh’s freedom fighters during The Liberation War – and was a co-founder of the Bangladesh Field Hospital in Agartala. Kamal was one of four women to receive the CNC’s Special Commendation for her role in the war. Canadian human rights group Rights and Democracy awarded Sultana with the John Humphrey Freedom Award in 1996.

Mohamed Latheef – Co-chairperson

Latheef is a Maldivian journalist and the current Human Rights Ambassador of the Maldives. He is a former parliamentarian and co-founded the Maldives Democratic Party – the first and largest political party in the Maldives, which won the country’s first multi-party elections and ended the 30 year dictatorship of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 2008. Latheef was educated in Sri Lanka, where he has also spent a significant amount of time in self-imposed exile.​

Sara Hossain - Bangladesh

Sara Hossain is a barrister practicing in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, mainly in the areas of constitutional, public interest and family law. She is a partner at the law firm of Dr. Kamal Hossain and Associates (www.khossain.com), and currently serves pro bono as the Honorary Executive Director of the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (www.blast.org.bd). She is also a member of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), the Human Rights Committee of the International Law Association (ILA), the Advisory Committee of the Women’s International Coalition on Gender Justice (WICG) and served for one term as a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).Sara earlier ran the South Asia Programme at INTERIGHTS from 1997 to 2003, and was a founding board member of the South Asia Women’s Fund (SAWF).Sara’s casework on women’s rights has included public interest litigation before the Supreme Court of Bangladesh challenging ‘fatwa’ violence (degrading punishments being imposed on women and girls accused of violating community norms on sexuality), ‘forced veiling’ and the use of the ‘two finger test’ as a form of medical evidence collection; and amicus/ third party briefs for constitutional litigation before the Supreme Court of Nepal in a case challenging marital rape as discrimination, and before the European Court of Human Rights challenging the requirement of proof of force to establish rape (MC v Bulgaria).Sara writes and speaks on public interest law, human rights and women’s rights and access to justice. Her publications include “Confronting Constitutional Curtailments: Attempts to Rebuild Independence of the Judiciary in Bangladesh,” in Paul Brass (ed) Handbook of Politics in South Asia (Routledge, 2010), ‘Wayward Girls and Well Wisher Parents: Habeas Corpus, Women’s Rights to Consent and the Bangladesh Courts” in Aisha Gill (ed) Forced Marriage (Zed, London 2010); (with Bina de Costa) “Redress for Sexual Violence Before the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh: Lessons from History, and Hopes for the Future” in Criminal Law Forum, Volume 21, Number 2, 331-359; (Co – edited with Lynn Welchman) “Honour”: Crimes, Paradigms and Violence against Women (Zed Books, London, 2005), and (co-edited with Dina M. Siddiqi) Human Rights in Bangladesh 2007 (ASK, Dhaka, 2008).Sara was educated at Wadham College, Oxford (MA (Hons) 1988), called to the Bar from Middle Temple (1989), enrolled in the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (1992) and then in the Appellate Division in 2008. She has received awards from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), Ananya, and the US State Department (Women of Courage) and been selected as a World Economic Forum Fellow and an Asia 21 Fellow. 

D. J. Ravindran - India

Ravindran is an Indian lawyer and human rights activist. He has worked as Legal Officer for Asia for the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva. He has worked as Director of Human Rights Division with the UN missions in East Timor, Libya and the Sudan. He has also worked in Cambodia and Uganda with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ravindran was instrumental in setting up of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia). He was the Secretary of the UN International Inquiry Commission on East Timor.

Dr. Aminath Jameel – Maldives

Dr. Jameel holds a BSc Degree in Nursing, a Certificate in Midwifery, and a MSc Degree in Community Health Nursing from Madras University. She also has a PhD in Health Science from La Trobe University, Australia. Dr. Jameel began her career as a trainer of healthcare workers and initiated the Diploma Nursing Program in the Maldives and has vast academic experience at University Malaya, Malaysia and College of Higher Education, Maldives. Dr. Jameel has held membership at several national committees and boards and has volunteered in community developmental activities, especially on women’s issues. She founded Aged Care Maldives, the first NGO aimed at the ageing population of Maldives. She was also the Minister of Health in President Nasheed’s government.

Mohammad Tahseen – Pakistan

Tahseen is a Pakistani civil society activist and the founding director of South Asia Partnership Pakistan – one of Pakistan’s largest NGOs, working on uplifting and empowering vulnerable groups such as peasants, women and religious minorities. He is a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Pakistan NGO Forum, for which he was the first secretary.
Tahseen has also served as Chairperson for a number of rights organisations including the Pakistan National Committee of IUCN, and the Building Bridges Project of Forum International de Montreal. He holds a Masters degree in Public Administration the University of Punjab, Lahore, and is a recipient of the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Human Rights Award. He is serving as the National Convenor of the Pakistan Civil Society Forum (PCSF) a representative forum of more than 53 CSOs working for the respect of fundamental rights, peace, good governance and justice in Pakistan.

Lakshan Dias – Sri Lanka

Lakshan is a Sri Lankan lawyer, human rights activist. He is a member of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and a leading partner of law firm Lakshan Dias Associates, which he founded in 2009. As an activist, Lakshan works predominantly on human rights issues such as migrant workers, refugees and religious minorities. He briefly served as Chairperson of Transparency International Sri Lanka, was CEO of YMCA Sri Lanka, and Programme Manager for Centre for Human Rights and Development Sri Lanka.

Tahirih Qurratulayn- Sri Lanka

Tahirih is an Independent Consultant in the Development sector, with over 30 years of experience working in the health, humanitarian and development sectors for vulnerable of women and children. Her experiences cover a wide array of related fields including gender, conflict sensitivity, protection, disaster risk reduction and human rights related themes with a main focus on women and child rights.
As a child rights advocate she had been able to assist organization in developing their “Child Protection Policy” (CPP) document with local mechanisms and laws. This is to protect children from Abuse and Exploitation when working with adults in project and programmes.
Tahirih holds a Graduate Certificate in Civil Society Initiative in Peace Building from the School of International Training in Boston, USA. She has conducted Training of Trainers on “Good Prison Management” (prisoners’ rights), Women, Juveniles and Access to Justice at Penal Reform International UK. She has been a Regional Trainer on “Child Led Disaster Risk Reduction” (CLDRR) for Save the Children UK/ Sweden and has been involved in many training activities in knowledge management & capacity building with the Government and the development sectors( INGOs & NGOs)
 She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Human Rights and a Consultant for Professional Service Providers (PTV) Ltd.

Saroja Sivachandran – Sri Lanka

Saroja is a Sri Lankan woman and Human rights activist and Executive Director of Center for Women and Development, a National NGO based in Jaffna focusing on empowering women particularly in the  Northern and Eastern  Provinces of Sri Lanka. She has worked extensively in the field of women’s rights in the North of Sri Lanka, both during the war and after its conclusion in 2009. Saroja is a Board Member of the National Peace Council based in Colombo and was a member of the National Committee on Women, formed by the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment. She has also served as a council member for the University of Jaffna, and President of Council of Non-Governmental Organisations – Jaffna District. Saroja holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from the University of Peradeniya and a Masters Degree in Management from the University of Jaffna. She also has studied LLB from the University of Colombo. Saroja has gained experience working as a lecturer in the University of Peradeniya and a senior lecturer at the Sri Lanka foundation Institute, Colombo.