A survey conducted by the Legal Aid Commission (LAC) has revealed that 70% of women aged between15 to 45 have been sexually harassed in public transport, the Legal Aid Commission chairman said.
Chairman of the LAC S. S. Wijeratne made this revelation while addressing the White Ribbon campaign that was held at Bastian Mawatha aiming to stop sexual harassment in public transport.
“According to the prevailing law, the culprits can be punished with a five year jail term, but no one has been jailed up to five years due to practical difficulties,” the Chairman said. He further observed that as Sri Lankans we should seriously be concerned about the matter as it is increasing and therefore tarnishing the country’s image.
Mr. Wijeratne said that the victimised women in public transport were reluctant to complain about the matter to the bus conductors, bus driver or the police. “The bus drivers and conductors alone cannot stop this menace, and the male commuters themselves should be shameful of such bad habits. He further stated that the bus drivers and conductors were reluctant to give evidence against the culprits in court as it would effect their daily income.
The LAC chairman further said the LAC with the participation of the Road Passenger Transport Authority has allocated a two-week period to make the public aware of deterring sexual harassment in public transport, which started from November 25 and will go on till December 10. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)