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Chamindra Weerawardhana

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Public Figure

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Researcher | Political Analyst | Public Speaker | Gender Justice Activist
LGBTQIA+ Officer, The Labour Party in Northern Ireland, Board Member, Sibéal.

RECENT FACEBOOK POSTS

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Tellement contente pour Mme Valérie Plante (Valérie Plante), première femme à être élue Mairesse de Montréal / Absolutely delighted for Mme Valérie Plante, the first woman to be elected Mayor of Montréal!!! #WomenInPoliitcs #FemmesEnPolitique #Internationalism #TransNationalSolidarities #UKLabour #ProjetMontréal

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It was a privilege to represent the Executive Committee of @uklabour 's Northern Ireland CLP, our members in the province and indeed our leader Comrade Jeremy Corbyn MP, at the 2017 Diwali celebrations earlier today at the Indian Cultural Centre in Belfast. The Indian diaspora makes very important contributions to the socioeconomic and cultural life of Northern Ireland. As #UKLabour, we hold the Indian community of #NI in the highest regard, and tremendously appreciate the contributions of members of that community to Northern Ireland. We were honoured to be part of today's fantastic festivities. In the picture: Comrades Andy Ward (seated), Dr Chamindra Weerawardhana, (LGBTQIA+Officer/EC member), Marga Foley, Dr Brigitte Anton and Miss Mocsha Weerawardhana #UKLabour #NILabour #jc4pm🌹 #BritishPolitics #internationalism #chamindraweerawardhana

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Absolutely delighted for Aotearoa Labour and Comrade Jacinda Ardern, the new Prime Minister of Aotearoa/New Zealand! / Très heureuse pour nos collègues du Parti Travailliste d'Aotearoa et pour Mme Jacinda Ardern, le nouveau Premier Minister d'Aotearoa/de la Nouvelle Zélande. Photo: ©TheGuardian #Labour #Internationalism #Aotearoa #AotearoaLabour #UKLabour #JacindaArdern

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Very proud of #LGBTLabour #Trans Officer and @uklabour candidate for #RutlandAndMelton at #ge17 Dr Heather Peto, an excellent leader and organiser. You rock sis! #TransWomenInPolitics #TransPolitics #UKLabour #HeatherPeto #jc4pm🌹 #BritishPolitics #transjustice #genderjustice

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On behalf of @uklabour and its Northern Ireland CLP we extended our support and full solidarity to the people of Mexico today, at a solidarity fundraiser event organised by the Mexican community of Belfast. As internationalists, it was very important to us to be present at this event. Our internationalism is further strengthened by our tremendous leader Comrade Corbyn. #jc4pm🌹 #UKLabour #NILabour #TransnationalSolidarities #TransPolitics #genderjustice #disasterRiskReduction #FightAgainstGlobalWarming

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Delighted to represent Jeremy Corbyn's Labour at the #RallyForChoice in Belfast #UKLabour

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Together with the Labour Northern Ireland Reproductive Justice Committee, I am delighted to launch our information leaflet on Reproductive Justice, in support of the Rally for Choice, to be held in Belfast on Saturday 14th October 2017. It was under a Labour Government that the 1967 Abortion Act came to being. Our commitment to full reproductive justice is long-standing, and here in Northern Ireland, we are fully committed to reproductive justice. No 'buts' no ifs' but full, 100% commitment to a birth giver's right to bodily autonomy, the right to access a safe and legal termination when a birth giver so requires, and to new legislation that ensures the reproductive rights of cis and trans women and people of all gender identities. On this occasion we take a minute to extend our strongest appreciation of friends in all pro-choice advocacy campaigns across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and elsewhere in the world. We applaud our friends organising the Rally for Choice, and their commitment has been inspirational. We, the Northern Ireland CLP of UK Labour, are pleased and privileged be part of the Rally for Choice on Saturday the 14th, and we will stand with you, unconditionally, in the fight for the inalienable and non-negotiable reproductive rights of cis women, trans women, and people of all other gender identities and backgrounds. We invite you all to read our information leaflet, and share it widely. #ReproJustice #MyBodyMyRights #TrustWomen #UKLabour #NILabour #GenderJustice and also full solidarity across the Irish Border, with #Repealthe8th

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It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to meet The Rt Hon Dawn Butler MP, the Corbyn Shadow Cabinet’s Women and Equalities Shadow Minister, earlier today at Portcullis House. Dawn is one of my role models in our Party. She is the third black woman to be elected to the British House of Commons, after Comrades Diane Abbott and Oona King. Dawn started out in the trades unions sector, and was first elected for Brent South at the 2005 general election. In the Gordon Brown Government, Dawn was appointed Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement, and became the first black woman MP to speak from the dispatch box in the history of the British House of Commons, during Question Time on 9th December 2009. Earlier this year, Dawn launched a very important initiative, a cross-party parliamentary group named the Parliamentary Black Caucus, which zooms in on specific issues that concern ethnic minorities. She is a strong voice for Trans equality in the Labour Party, focusing on a logic of gender justice, empowerment, and representation. A black woman in politics, despite us living in 2017, is still a considerable rarity in the United Kingdom. From the abuse Comrade Diane Abbott gets on a daily basis, we can glimpse the unwillingness in a considerable segment of society to see an articulate black woman in a position of political power. There’s still a very long way to go on the path to racial justice, representation and empowerment, and senior figures like Dawn show us the way. It is because of people like Dawn that I am very proud to be a member and an elected CLP officer of the Labour Party. #UKLabour #DawnButler #LGBTLabour #TransPolitics #TransWomenInPolitics #chamindraweerawardhana #NI #NILabour #Belfast #Lka #internationalism #BritishPolitics #jc4pm🌹 #jeremycorbyn

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We had a great Trans equality lobbying and consultation event at the Houses of Parliament today, where Transfeminist imperatives were prioritised. This was a unique event at which Trans women took centre-stage. We had productive discussions with Shadow Cabinet Ministers including The Rt Hon. Dawn Butler MP and with key advocates of gender justice in our party, including, very especially, Rt. Hon. Sarah Champion MP. The discussion focused on a number of core points, including issues of justice, the formulation of gender recognition legislation that prioritised gender self-determination, dignified and Trans-inclusive healthcare provision. We also highlighted the importance of sensitising teaching staff in schools on Trans equality, and in working towards increased understanding on gender pluralities within public services. Yet another issue discussed was one that is very close to my heart – international Trans equality advocacy. As a political party of the left that is living through a unique moment of popularity, electoral successes and a ‘government-in-waiting’ status, we can play a constructive role in harnessing international dialogues on gender justice. We are internationalists and our international networks can be deployed to engage in conversations that are difficult, if not challenging conversations to have in many parts of the Commonwealth and beyond. Ours should not be a neoliberal approach of coercion. Under Comrade Corbyn’s leadership, we, I believe, have the potential to engage in dialogues on gender justice and queer liberation, working with local advocates of these causes especially in the global South, and engaging in a dialogue that looks at gender justice from a ‘decolonizing’ lens, effectively challenging the notion [popular in many places across the global South] that gender justice in general and LGBTQIA+ rights in particular are importations from the global North. We need to work towards challenging and dismantling such prejudices, stereotypes and idées reçues, and stand with our friends across the world who work tirelessly for queer liberation and overall gender justice. We are Labour. We are global. #lgbtLabour #UKLabour

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Fingers crossed today for Comrade Jacinda Ardern and Aotearoa Labour (New Zealand Labour Party) and to all friends standing in other parties, including the excellent Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Green Party Candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti On croise les doigts aujourd'hui pour Mme Jacinda Ardern et tous nos collègues du Parti Travailliste d'Aotearoa et pour tou.te.s les ami.e.s qui se présentent dans d'autres partis politiques, y compris tout particulièrement l'incomparable Mme Elizabeth Kerekere des Verts. #Aotearoa #NewZealandLabour #PoliticsOfTheLeft #GlobalSolidarities #JacindaArdern

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Note: This article was written back in August 2015, and was originally published on 11 August 2015 in Slugger O’Toole, a popular politics blog with a strong readership in Northern Ireland. It was written when the Jeremy Corbyn entered the leadership campaign fray for the first time, when there was widespread speculation all over about Jeremy’s lack of ability to win the leadership election, let alone steer the party in a positive direction as Labour leader. Two years and a general election later, this article provides a glimpse into the debates and arguments that surrounded the Corbyn leadership election in 2015, and it is an avenue to compare, and take stock of, the contributions that the Corbyn phenomenon has since made to the Labour Party, to politics of the left across Europe and beyond, and to British politics at large. — Chamindra Weerawardhana, Belfast, 17 September 2017. #jc4pm🌹 #ukLabour #JeremyCorbyn #politicsoftheleft #chamindraweerawardhana #transpolitics #northernireland #uk #britain #corbynstays

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Comrade Jacinda Ardern slaying at Vic Uni right now. #Aotearoa #NewZealandLabour #internationalism #globalSolidarities In full solidarity with our comrades in Aotearoa, with just a few days left for the finishing line. #NZElection2017

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