Lasanthi Daskon, Deputy Country Director, Sri Lanka
Lasanthi Daskon is the deputy country director for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Sri Lanka. A lawyer with a background in human rights, Daskon has over 15 years of experience working to promote the empowerment of marginalized groups, with a particular focus on the rights of persons with disabilities. Through her work with IFES Sri Lanka, Daskon supports the Election Commission of Sri Lanka and civil society partners in their efforts to further promote inclusive elections. She is also an experienced trainer and has delivered trainings covering a variety of topics –including women’s leadership, countering disinformation and hate speech, and civic and voter education – to electoral stakeholders across Sri Lanka. Daskon is also a visiting lecturer at the Department of Disability Studies at the University of Kelaniya, where she teaches the core module on Disability Theory and Concepts.
Prior to joining IFES, Daskon served as a member on a number of committees formed to review and operationalize national inclusion policies. From 2013-16, she was on the committee tasked with reviewing Sri Lanka’s draft Disability Rights Law and, in 2016, she served on the disability subcommittee that drafted Sri Lanka’s National Human Rights Action Plan. She also previously worked as the country representative for Panos South Asia in Sri Lanka, where she focused on working through the media to build a forum for unheard voices to be heard with a particular focus on developmental and environmental issues.
Daskon has contributed to numerous research publications on disability inclusion in Sri Lanka. Her research has been published by the Journal on Disability and Rehabilitation, the University of Kelaniya-Sri Lanka and the Asia-Pacific Journal on Intellectual Disabilities.
Daskon holds a master’s degree in human rights from the University of Colombo. She also holds a diploma in international relations from the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Sri Lanka.