Editorial - Valentine how many rapes will it happen till they know…

17 February 2013 06:30 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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This year February 14 was marked not only by the commercially hyped and abused Valentine’s Day with flowers, teddy bears and chocolates but also with another campaign that is timely and has far greater value. ‘One Billion Rising’(OBR), a global movement of about 200 countries to end gender and sexual based violence, rape, abuse and sexual harassment on women and girls was marked with a peaceful demonstration and candle light vigil in Colombo and other parts of the country.
Marking the 15th anniversary of the V-Day, a movement started by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, OBR campaign was launched this year based on the overwhelming statistics that one in three women experiences violence in her lifetime, meaning one billion women are abused by violence worldwide.

Subsequent to the demonstration, a letter has been written by well-known rights activist Chandra Jayaratne to the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa with copies to the President, the Attorney General, the Police Chief and other responsible authorities. The letter has sought the leadership of the first lady to the campaign which calls for changes in the attitude and collective effort to eradicate violence against women and girls in Sri Lanka.



Chandra Jayaratne has also made a plea to implement a number of strategies in Sri Lanka and urges the government and all in society to commit themselves to take personal and collective steps to reduce the serious incidence of violence against women and girls immediately.

He also calls on all law enforcement officials, including the Police, officials of the Attorney General’s Department, the Judiciary and others associated to commit themselves to clear the entirety of the backlog of inquiries of complaints, institute legal action against wrong doers where acts of violence have been committed and ensure the effective disposal of cases filed in respect of reported incidents of violence against women and girls.

He has also proposed setting up of a commission similar to the Human Rights Commission to promote the due empowerment of women and girls thereby  promoting  their safety, security and protection against violence and harassment. Another plea made is to discourage and reduce the number of women and girls seeking domestic and other minor employment overseas which  , is yet another plea.

An entire campaign commencing from the head of the State is timely as Sri  Lankan police reports itself have proved that four women or children are raped every day and of them three are below 18 years of age. Six women and children are subject to sexual harassment every day, and six women/children are assaulted everyday in Sri Lanka, the report also revealed.

It is a tragedy and irony that politicians who are expected to be policy makers for such vital and grave issues sometimes become the perpetrators themselves. Last July,  a ruling party local council chairman in Akuressa is alleged to have gang raped a 14-year-old girl, while on Christmas Eve,  2011, another local councillor from the UPFA in Tangalle was charged with killing a British national and gang raping his Russian lover. These incidents imprint a black mark , turning a tourist paradise into a hellhole of rape. The government should prove its strong stance against sexual abuse and take stern legal action in these instances.
Otherwise we might have to continue to sing Bob Dylan's well-known anti-war song adapted to the Sri Lankan situation by Shamila Daluwatte.

How many times must a woman get harassed?
Before they reach their homes

How many battles must a woman have to fight?
Before she stands for her rights

How many rapes must we report on a day?
Before they are forever stopped
The answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind
The answer is not blowing in the wind

How many years must a court case take?
Before women give up their case

How many years can some women exist?
Before they’re allowed to be safe

How many times can a man turn his head?
And pretend that he just doesn’t see
The answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind
The answer is not blowing in the wind
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  Comments - 1

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  • sumith Monday, 18 February 2013 01:41 PM

    since the politicians were involved in the rapes there wont be any offenders or rapist being recorded on the book. the government keep a blind eye or deaf ears even the police force are helpless due to powerful pressure on them from the minister. international pressure should put on them.

    bbc personal has been abuse or threatern by our own people who is behind the BBS. as a buddhist i love peace in my country i dont like violent like the others.


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