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Time to discuss gay rights: HR activist

9 June 2015 07:46 pm - 44     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


With the dynamic changes in societies all over world, it was time for Sri Lanka too to hold a discussion on gay rights with the input of community leaders, Attorney-at-Law and Human Rights Activist Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said yesterday.

He said bombarding Sri Lanka with marriage benefits for same-sex couples at this level would not be wise but a discussion on basic rights of gay people could be considered appropriate when making decisions in the long run.  

“Our penal code describes the act of homosexual is an unnatural offence. This penal code is a carbon copy of Indian Penal Code and that is a copy of the United Kingdom. Even the UK and liberal countries had amended the code today but not us,” Dr. Mahanamahewa said.

He said though the act was considered as an offence, it is observed that it is happening throughout the country discreetly.

“All citizens should be entitled to Right of Choice, the freedom to choose. That is why we need to have a discussion on the issue. We can invite religious leaders to take part in the discussions. If the gay community was continued to be oppressed and discriminated against, they might develop stressful and violent behaviour,” he said.

Dr. Mahanamahewa said the Penal Code, religious background and the ethical attitudes had prevented Sri Lanka from being open up for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

  Comments - 44

  • saranga Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:31 PM

    Please go to the docter Jude Fernando. you need some call hormophobia..

    saranga Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:34 PM

    It is human rights man..Everyone want equality in everything...we dont want 2nd or 3rd class citizen..we also want same rights how straight people do...please be open minded.

    John Fernandez Wednesday, 10 June 2015 09:16 AM

    YahaGay Palanaya is coming soon. Or is it already?

    puna Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:35 PM

    Why do you repeat whatever the English men say? Before the white men came here we had our own low denoted by culture for thousands of years. You are a resemble of bitter truth of the "Human Activist"

    anons Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:44 PM

    medical condition? its more of genetics! do your homework before making false statements, and ya i support LGBT cause non of us are free untill we all are.

    sup Wednesday, 10 June 2015 08:44 PM

    you sound like that religious leader who believes earthquakes happen because ladies wear jeans. Did you time travel from I do not know like 100 years ago? Homosexuality is proven to be a natural variation of sexual orientation.

    Mm Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:51 PM

    Not even in the animal kingdom do that go after the same sex but Why is it that only the humans want to be with the same sex?

    Niluka Thursday, 11 June 2015 10:41 AM

    So does this mean that we should also keep marital rape a secret, domestic violence a secret, sexual harassment in public transport a secret because all these have been happening in the past in secret. Does that mean that certain fraction of people could be denied of their rights because certain other do not like to see every one equally treated. It is us who should be preaching west about equality and tolerance as the basics of Buddhism. We talk so proudly about an abstract sri Lankan culture but see a 7 year old girl being kidnapped, all the politicians looting, murders taking place and say that homosexuality and accepting it is the most disastrous.

    Niluka Wednesday, 10 June 2015 01:28 PM

    Homosexuality is not considered a mental disorder any more as many of the people have mentioned in this conversation. It is quite disappointing to see that most who try to uphold the Buddhism and its values here do not pay the minute to respect to the core Buddhist teaching of tolerance, compassion and non-violence. Some may have not followed the new scientific discoveries of homosexuality within animals. ore than 1500 animal species in the world has homosexuality. elephants and dolphins being two of the most prominent. However as many has mentioned here most of us trying to protect some cultural norms that we received from British empire. how is it that we accuse Britain for some things and then try to protect certain other values that they have left . those who accuse homosexuality and think that all LGBT people need to be killed please have a read through An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon by Robert Knox and see how liberal Sri Lanka was

    garawi Wednesday, 10 June 2015 05:24 PM

    Homosexuals existed in Sri Lanka all the time. Even now there are people at the top who are supposed to be homosexauls and lead a normal life kepping their sexual preferences limited to the bedroom. Just like the heteresexuals in our country where Buddhist/Hindu/Muslim culture does not allow exibitionism. Where is the inequality? So what is the problem? Do you want them to exhibit their sexual preferences? They should keep it for themselves behind the doors.We have no problem with that! If you let that then comes the homo- marriage and then the rights to adopt children and then the social security rights. We see all these in the west and the added problems that go with it.No Thanks!

    garawi Wednesday, 10 June 2015 05:27 PM

    Nobody said that gays should be killed. But let them operate as they did up to now! Why exhibit ?

    Nimal Tissa Wijetunga Wednesday, 10 June 2015 05:29 PM

    Intensifying and possible legal rights to Gay activities is a part of Yahpalanaya it seems.

    Mal Malli Wednesday, 10 June 2015 02:07 PM

    Those who are gay will stay gay and be gay. I mean that with no disrespect for them. Those who are straight will also be likewise, as it has been always. I strongly believe this Dr. guy seriously needs to get laid though.

    Waco Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:21 AM

    Were you visiting S.W.R.D when he was alive?

    Gemunu Wednesday, 10 June 2015 04:21 AM

    Ha ha!! Now VW might say this lawyer is breaking the p***s cord.

    Sam Thursday, 11 June 2015 11:46 AM

    Fine idea.My reagards to you two.Sam

    Dinesh Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:29 AM

    This is very timely. As an open gay man living in Colombo I am heartened by the support and understanding from my friends and colleagues. Unfortunately this is not the case for many. Gay men and the larger LGBT community (which could be about 5%-10% of the population) do not understand what their sexuality is or know it but are forced to live double lives. The result is higher transmission of fatal diseases, loss of potential and contribution to society (had they been given the freedom to live as who they are) and the harm caused to women who they take in marriage. This last example is a serious issues as gays marry out of social pressure and not love. Women suffer for years and the resulting infidelity affects entire homes.Science has proven beyond a doubt that in the spectrum between man and women, sexual identity and sexual attraction may vary. To deny gays their rights and freedom to live as their true self is a silent and painful violation of rights and fairness.

    Waco Wednesday, 10 June 2015 05:06 AM

    Same sex marriages should not be allowed.

    RDF Wednesday, 10 June 2015 05:35 AM

    While homophobia should be dealt by educating the public, that it is mainly a mental attitude I do not prescribe to merely changing things just because England or any other country has.If SL takes this path then we should be considering soon legalising even prostitution. There are countries that does it like any other business , in SL too it goes on discreetly.Let discrete things continue to be discrete. What is the reason to change for the sake of change?The world needs cultural diversity to continue evolution.

    Sincere Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:43 AM

    Let us continue with our Buddhist Culture in this country which we had and paved for good governance for over 2500 years together with the cultures of others religions. The supreme value given to the family and marriage should not be violated by any means.

    Sincere Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:44 AM

    Well said Jude

    Sincere Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:46 AM

    Mahanama, dan echcharada adu apita?

    Dan Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:54 AM

    Since the 1970s, the consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions globally is that homosexuality is a healthy variation of human sexual orientation, although some professionals maintain that it is a disorder.[2] In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association Council of Representatives followed in 1975.[3] Thereafter other major mental health organizations followed, including the World Health Organization in 1990. Consequently, while a minority[citation needed] today believes homosexuality is a mental disorder, the body of current research and clinical literature supports a consensus that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are healthy variations of human sexuality, and is reflected in the official positions of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

    Shan Wednesday, 10 June 2015 06:36 PM

    Where is Bodu Bala Senaa

    Kev Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:59 AM

    Wow, so much hate in the comments towards gays and lesbians in SL. Not a single comment supporting LGBT people. They are not asking for marriage or anything. Just remove the 361 penile code that says homosexuality is illegal and that should do it. There are many other laws in SL that helps prevent rape, and other sexual abuse.There are so many thieves robbers and politicians that does more hard than two gay dudes making out in their own privacy.

    Shan Wednesday, 10 June 2015 06:40 PM

    beware of Bodu Bala Senaa they will come and kill

    anon Monday, 29 June 2015 04:52 PM

    Homophobia was a cultural value forced upon Sri Lanka by the British. It has now become the norm, unfortunately.

    kev Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:01 AM

    being gay is not a mental condition. thinking Gay or Lesbian is a medical condition IS a mental illness and should be treated.

    Desapriya Wednesday, 10 June 2015 06:45 PM

    Homosexuality is an ultra mental disorder that world disregarded for millenniums. No proper researches done or treatment found for this disorder and now it has become an universal epidemic.

    Piumi Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:05 AM

    Obviously should agree with RDF. Rather than establishing the gay marriages better to open up a new hospital for mentally ill persons. This is not a country where you should promote this type of sicknesses. Dear Sir, I also was a student of you. You are an excellent teacher. But this is not correct. Sorry.

    Palle Wednesday, 10 June 2015 06:49 PM

    Of course this is a burning issue for one minister.

    patriot Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:14 AM

    Is this a very urgent issue to solve now? There are more burning issues ,sadu sadu.

    sam Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:28 AM

    Homosexuality is not a medical condition, I have been studying mental health and sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. Advance medical and psychological studies have proven that homosexuality like heterosexuality is a very normal aspect of human begins. Also there have been no accounts where homosexuality was illegal in sri Lanka before colonization of the British empire . So the culture you say that is be ruined by the western countries, is a western one itself. Know your history people and the cultural anthropology of the country before voicing your ignorance. And Sri Lanka begin a predominantly Buddhist country. The Buddhist philosophy/religion do not discriminate homosexuality and it dose not state that homosexual person is sick or performing an unnatural act.Every human has the right to live their life. No one has the right to judge A consentful private life between legal adults no matter their gender or orientation.Peace be with you.

    Reaper Wednesday, 10 June 2015 07:32 AM

    Our country has so many cultural values and Human rights activists just want to destroy it. No we will not allow gay marriages !

    Bowijasl Wednesday, 10 June 2015 07:38 AM

    A long overdue subject. It will be quite a revolution in the Sri Lankan society.

    Jude Fernando Wednesday, 10 June 2015 07:56 AM

    I have been waiting to write on this topic. Please remember Gay or Lesbian is a medical condition. It needs to be treated. So I call the medical professionals to find a treatment for this illness. Start doing research please to get rid of this menace.

    Ryan Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:33 AM

    Next UN chief talking

    JAY Wednesday, 10 June 2015 03:54 PM

    Is this a burning issue for Srilanka? These blokes are trying for their fame and publicity.

    sam Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:36 AM

    Buddhist culture never said homosexuality is wrong and unnatural. The culture that change us Buddhists idea to think homosexuality is illegal is the old laws brought in by the British colonization. So please know your history and culture.

    Reader Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:40 AM

    Just the comments here shows how backward the sri lanka is when it comes to gay rights. People need to be informed that being gay is not a mental condition, its not unnatural, and its not against buddhism.

    Sup Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:45 AM

    Buddhist Culture did not penalize homosexuality, The Victorian Culture did. What you are referring to is the second. A true Buddhist culture would treat everyone equally and behave quite differently that how Queen Victoria has taught us.

    Rubert Vanderkoon Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:56 AM

    While I sympathise with the gay community, I must agree with many that incorrect notions and their forced propagation by the same community does not help. HIV/AIDS issue is one: HIV/AIDS and other STDs are much more prevalent among homosexuals than other communities and it is a fact discussed in western media on daily basis.

    Athas Thursday, 11 June 2015 09:42 AM

    Also we need more foreign financial aid to combat AIDS.

    The God Father Wednesday, 10 June 2015 04:37 PM

    Sounds like a good time to invest in a LUBE business.

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