Cofounder of the Mothers and Daughters of Sri Lanka, Dulcy de Silva (born 1933) is convinced that because women are the most severely affected by conflict, they are also the key to peace efforts. She has founded a dynamic peace movement that has gained in influence and recognition. At 71, an indefatigable Dulcy continues to travel throughout the country, braving personal danger. She is respected by Tamils and Sinhalese alike as an honest negotiator, and talks to people on both sides of the ethnic divide.
Dulcy de Silva has been politically active since her school and university days. After she finished her education, she began teaching, but knew that she needed to involve herself more vigorously with the sociopolitical movements in Sri Lanka. In 1970, she joined the NGO National Peace Movement in Sri Lanka, working with the peace movement for almost two decades before cofounding Mothers and Daughters of Sri Lanka in 1989. Dulcy still codirects this movement, which strives to end the civil war in the country. She also coordinates the World Solidarity Forum Sri Lanka. Mothers and Daughters of Sri Lanka is based on Dulcy's deep conviction that women are the key to all peace efforts, since, as mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives, they are the most traumatically affected by situations of conflict. Even though a septuagenarian, Dulcy travels throughout the country, talking to people on both sides of the ethnic chasm. She is known in all of Sri Lanka, and respected by Tamils and Sinhalese alike as an honest negotiator. Although conditions are slowly improving, traveling in Sri Lanka remains jeopardous. Bus accidents are not uncommon, and some remote areas have not yet heard of the armistice. For many years now, Dulcy's unwavering standpoint has made her a target of aggression. Her dynamic women's peace movement is spreading the idea among both the informed population and those who cannot read or access television. In a sense, everyone in Sri Lanka is benefiting from her activity, but mainly women and poor farmers. Hers is a new way of thinking.
Mothers and Daughters of Sri Lanka