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HEY MAN!

Photo courtesy Reuters Hey, MAN! Yup you. Got a minute? Because I would like to talk to you. Yup, to you. Because you whistled out a love song in my honour from your guard-post on Bauddhaloka Mawatha as I was hopping out of a tuk-tuk to get into work this morning. You were on duty. […]

How hard is it to admit fault, Ambassador Wickramasuriya?

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, recently responded to the Crisis Group Report’s assertion that assault on women in Sri Lanka is on the rise. On the one hand, the Ambassador denies the very existence of rape or violence against women in Sri Lanka – “Rapes, this and that not taking any place […]

Sri Lankan Women Human Rights Defenders: Linking Past and Present Challenges

  As another year begins to draw to a close on post-war Sri Lanka, we can take stock of which changes, or the lack of change, we see around us. The full scope of human rights are still not available to civilians living in areas formerly controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), […]

Are there really gay Sri Lankans?

As I write this, friends and people I have worked with, are living in fear. In truth, since Saturday before last (10th September) when Rivira published their exposé on condoms and lubricating gels being distributed to men who have sex with men, and the community based organization involved in the process, tensions have been high […]

Women and Media Collective Press Conference on Violence Against Women

The Women and Media Collective held a press conference last week to address the incidence of violence against women with regard to the ‘grease devil’ phenomenon. The Collective also stressed that it wanted a ‘clear dialogue’ on the matter in order to militate against sensational reportage as well as further trivialisation of the issue. The […]

How can society protect vulnerable women from post war atrocities?

I just viewed a documentary produced recently by Al Jazeera titled ‘Civil war leaves Sri Lankan women vulnerable’. The film has left me deeply disturbed, shocked and ashamed particularly because as a woman, I am not doing my duty in protesting vociferously against such atrocities. Some sections of the documentary appear to have been deliberately […]

Vesak and Violence Against Women

Original photograph REUTERS/Damir Sagolj I have not hidden my increasing disdain for the way Buddhism is practiced and promoted in Sri Lanka. To say the least, we have not only forgotten what it is truly about, we often downright contradict and insult it. I wrote about it here, almost exactly a year ago, after the Poson […]

‘National security’ in post-war Sri Lanka: Women’s (In) security in the North

Photo from Hear My VOICE: Jalajakumari Selvarasa ~ “I could often feel the nostalgia” Resurrecting the ‘undead Tiger’[1] to secure the citizen: How the situation of women belie the dominant security narrative ‘The world should appreciate our successful anti-terrorist effort. But today we are being hounded by those who turned a blind eye to LTTE atrocities […]

Celebrating WOMEN: Women’s Photography Exhibition 2011

“Men ~ their rights, and nothing more; WOMEN~ their rights, and nothing less.” ~ Susan Brownell Anthony (15th February 1820 ~ 13th March  1906, American Women’s Rights Activist, Civil Rights leader and suffragist) Journalism is still a heavily male dominated field in Sri Lanka. Women are slowly but steadily getting into the field of journalism. […]

Violence Against Women and Girls in Sri Lanka: No April Fools joke

Interviews published on this site with Kumudini Samuel, founder of Women and Media Collective and with Sunila Abeysekara, a leading human rights activist, addressed the prevalence of Gender Based Violence both during war and in post-war Sri Lanka, particularly in the North and East. Addressing the same vexed issue is a production slated for 1st […]

A perennial struggle: Women’s political representation in Sri Lanka

Women constitute 52% of Sri Lanka’s population, however women constitute only 2% of elected members of Local Authorities. A critical concern is the very low levels of nominations received by women (approximately 6%) from political parties (See table below). Much of the blame for this under representation must be borne by the major political parties […]