Category Archives: Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Child Fund is organizing a series of training programmes to educate and develop skills of Special Education teachers in the North. The team of resource persons met at Hotel Concord in March 2019 to prepare the training manual. It is very important to develop a curiculamn to train the Special Education teachers so that children with disabilities have a quality education.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Resource persons at a discussion.

2 Ms. Manique Gunaratne presenting.


Manique Gunaratne

WhatsApp: 0094779571918


Ms. Manique Gunaratne together with a group of persons with disabilities from the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front had discussions with the Parliamentarians on rights of persons with disabilities at the Parliament in March 2019. Parliamentarians Mr. Sunil Handunneththi and Mr. Udaya Gammampila supported the requests made by persons with disabilities on their rights. The speaker also made a special statement on best terminologies to be used when addressing persons with disabilities.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Discussion with MP Udaya Gammampila.

2 Discussion with MP Sunil Handunneththi.

3 Group discussion.

4 group photograph with MP Udaya Gammampila.

5 Group photograph with  MP Sunil Handunneththi.

(Honoured, Deshabandu) Ms. H.K. Manique Gunaratne



Sri Lanka Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (SLFRD) was founded on 27th July 1988 by a group of people with disabilities. The late Mr. Premadasa Dissanayake invited the participants and explained why person with disabilities should organize themselves in order to realize their rights. The main objective of SLFRD was to make the society aware of capabilities of people with disabilities and their rights and the need to support them to live independently and in dignity. The membership consists of all categories of disabilities. SLFRD is registered under the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Services as a Disabled People’s Organization.

On 22nd November1990 SLFRD took over Rehab Lanka at No. 5A, Khettarama Temple Road, Maligawatta started by Dr. Rienzi Peiris of Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan to provide vocational training to amputees discharged from hospitals. The takeover was negotiated by the then President Mr. Premadasa Dissanayake and Vice President Mr. Cyril Siriwardane supported by Mrs Swarna Ferdinand, Honorary Secretary of Colombo Friend-in-Need Society.

After taking over Rehab Lanka SLFRD started a workshop to provide employment to persons with disabilities. Initially five persons with disabilities who have completed vocational training were recruited. Items manufactured mainly were assistive devices needed by persons with disabilities. such as wheelchairs, tricycles, crutches etc. Other items such as hospital beds, trolleys, bedside cupboards, tables, chairs etc. were made.

At present SLFRD is engaged in the following:

Manufacturing of assistive devices for persons with disabilities.

Encourage young persons with disabilities to engage in sports through “Rehab Lanka Sports Club”.

Participating in diverse forums representing persons with disabilities and speaking for their rights.


The assistive devices produced are:

  1. Different types of Wheelchairs manufactured are given below. Different sizes are made to suit the user. All wheelchairs are sold with a cushion.
  2. Active wheelchairs – These are suitable for use in rural areas with rough terrain and sandy soil.
  3. Folding wheelchairs with removable armrests and adjustable footrests.
  4. Children’s wheelchairs with front table.
  5. Kiddie’s wheelchairs with removable armrests and adjustable footrests.
  6. Sports wheelchairs for basketball and wheelchair tennis.
  7. Supportive seating wheelchairs for children with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities.
  8. Commode wheelchairs.


  1. Easy Go Tricycles – These tricycles are easy, safe and comfortable to ride.
  2. Elbow and Axillary crutches made of aluminium or steel tubes.
  3. Walking Frames
  4. Standing Frames


Items such as metal racks, tables, chairs, beds cloth racks etc. are also manufactured according to orders received.


By purchasing items from SLFRD you will be helping people with disabilities working at SLFRD to live in dignity without depending on others.


The SLFRD had the Annual General Meeting in February 2019 and a new executive committee was selected.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Group photograph of the executive committee

Manique Gunaratne

Vice President – Sri Lanka Foundation of the Rehabilitation of the Disabled


The Department of Disability Studies in University of Kelaniya together with The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon gave hands on experience to medical students on assistive devices for persons with disabilities in February 2019. The assistive devices exhibition was a good opportunity for medical students to understand the importance of using devices to work equally capable as persons with non-disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera, Mr. Chamod Nayanananda and Ms. Samudra Gamage supported the medical students to understand the tasks of each device. Ms. Manique Gunaratne also made a presentation on “Difficulties faced by persons with disabilities when accessing health care facilities”.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Medical students participating at the programme.

2 Manique, Ayasana, Chamod and Samudra at the exhibition.

3 Manique, Chamod and Samudra with the assistive devices.


4 Manique explaining the devices.

5 Manique making a presentation.

6 Dr. Shyamini Hettiarachchi conducting a session.

Manique Gunaratne

Sub Committee Member of Policy Development Unit of Prime Minister’s Office on Vocational, Technical Training and Employment Forcusing on Persons with Disabilities



The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon together with CIC Educational & Charitable Trust Gives scholarships for EFC trainees who are under-graduates from Universities of Sri Lanka. These scholarships are awarded every year. Two partially sighted under-graduates from University of Kelaniya received the scholarships for last year.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Mr. Chamod Nayanananda receiving the scholarship from Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

2 Ms. Umesha Adhiraj receiving the certificate from Ms. Manique Gunaratne.

Manique Gunaratne

Resource Person – Beyond the Reach Project of Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter


The British Welfare Group celebrated Christmas with the trainees from the English Language Communication Skills training in December 2018. It is important to provide recreation facilities for persons with disabilities.  The British Welfare Group conducts English Language Communication Skills trainings for persons with disabilities at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Trainee doing the guess game.

2 Group photograph seated.


3 Group photograph waring Christmas hats.


4 Exchanging gifts.

5 Exchanging gifts.

6 Exchanging gifts.


Manique Gunaratne

Advisory Board Member – 18+ Alliance for Care Leavers (SOS Children’s Village)



On International Human Rights Day 2018 the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) organised an event to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on the theme “The world made anew – the UDHR in our lives; child and youth reflections” at the BMICH in December 2018.

This year’s event focused on youth and children who shared what the UDHR means to them, while a cultural programme will emphasise the importance of UDHR to diverse groups in society. Special focus was made to include persons with disabilities in the agenda.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1   Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Ms. Ayasana Gunasekera, Ms. Chamari     Sandamali and Ms. Samudra Gamage from The Employers’       Federation of Ceylon ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre

Manique Gunaratne

FaceTime: 0094779571918



CRI (Chinese Radio International) Sri Lanka  invited Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon to speak on “International day for persons with disabilities” in December 2018 in the half an hour radio programme titled “Piyawara”.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

Manique and Tissera recording the programme.




Manique Gunaratne

FaceBook – Manique Gunaratne



When youth in child care institutions in Sri Lanka reach the age of 18, they are

Required by the country’s law to part with their care homes and live independently as an adult. It is evident that most youth aging out of residential/institutional care (‘care leavers’) are not prepared for this transition. As such, these youth must be afforded opportunities to develop essential skills and a strong support network. Without such development, they often encounter mental health issues, unemployment, delinquency, abuse, substance dependency and homelessness. At present, State mechanisms to support care leavers do not exist, whether it be a legal or policy framework, institutional commitment, resources or services, and they remain an invisible group of youth to the public as well as the State. SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka has had much success in supporting youth to thrive as independent adults through the provision of continued support beyond the age of 18. From this experience, we recommend State parties establish a system that provides preparation while in care and affords aftercare support to empower youth leaving care, helping them confront the exigencies of an independent life. Firstly, we propose the development of youth services to plan departure and prepare for independent living. Secondly, we propose the establishment of a range of aftercare services, including financial and networking support and a monitoring mechanism to ensure effective delivery. Thirdly, we propose the development of staff/carrer capacity to better support youth in this transition. Fourthly, we propose a system for information collection, management and tracking the state of care leavers in Sri Lanka.

SOS Children’s Village has initiated the 18+ Alliance to support youth care leavers. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon represents the Advisory Board specially to support the care leavers with disabilities.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique and Ayasana.

Manique Gunaratne


IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action

In 2016, the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Working Group established a Task Team to develop IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action (herein referred to as IASC Disability Guidelines). The Task Team membership spans UN agencies, humanitarian actors, NGOs and organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and includes Member States as observers. The Task Team is co-chaired by the International Disability Alliance, Handicap International and UNICEF.

The development of IASC Disability Guidelines mark a significant step in advancing accountability for the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the inter-agency coordination mechanism. Ensuring non-discrimination requires that such guidelines be gender-sensitive, as and Gender Based Violence in Emergencies (co-hosted by the UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), highlighting as a key priority the engagement of Asia-Pacific GBV and SRH stakeholders in the IASC Disability Guidelines consultation process.

Building on these initial efforts in the region, the Women’s Refugee Commission, South Asia Disability Forum, UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and International Planned Parenthood Federations (IPPF), with support from the Australian Government, facilitated a consultation workshop with GBV and gender actors from the Asia region to inform the IASC Disability Guidelines development. Ms. Manique Gunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and Dr. Harischandra Yakandawela from Family Planning Association was involved in developing the guidelines.

The Family Planning Association together with the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front is involved in the role out process of the IASC Guidelines in Sri Lanka. Persons with disabilities were trained on IASC Guidelines in November 2018 at the Ocean Colombo Hotel.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique and Ema from the Women Refugee Commission.

2 Manique, Saroja and Anil.

3 Manique, Chammi and the group.

Manique Gunaratne

Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United