By Vindya Kumari Bandara –
A response to the open letter to Rosy Senanayake by Vishakha Tillekeratne et al
I was shocked to read Visakha Tillekeratne et al comments about Rosy Senanayake, who happened to be the Minister of Child Affairs in this Yahapalana regime. For me, who had been a longstanding observer of Mrs Senanayake, (I have never met her in my life) she was a prominent campaigner for the rights of women and children.
But I think she played that role of an activist – many years before becoming a politician and a minister – with a dignity and standards. I do not know why Ms Tillekeratne wanted Rosy to step down to the poor standards of Mervyn Silva and Kumara Welgama when she was abused by them in verbal terms. People like us made the decision on these two unruly politicians but not on Mrs Senanayake. But it is strange that a learned personality like Mrs Tillekeratne (her LinkedIn profile says that she works for World Health Organization) wants Rosy to match such sub standards.
Of course Mrs Senanayake is a politician. She had to play politics, but why is this accusation of playing politics over Vidya’s dead body? We watched the program from beginning to the end I think her responses were highly professional and action oriented. What was politics therein? Accusing Mahinda Rajapaksa for his continuous impunity against those of his henchmen who threw parties to celebrate his 100th rape? Is it playing politics?
The four participants of this particular Satana program had rather isolated roles to themselves. I agree with Ms Tillekeratne that Bimal Ratnayake’s content had depth and substance. Poor Viajayakala should have been provided with a translator. She became uncomfortable in several instances as she did not grasp sharp questions of the media panel. Soysa, though he continuously denied, his role was to promote the agenda of Rajapakses and defend them to the maximum. Rosy had to talk about the responses of the government and I think she delivered it well.
Though being a woman, I have a strong feeling that those so called gender specialists are of the view that they know it all. Their language and attitude speak to themselves. If these voices which were loud enough for many more years in the past were strong and effective, there should not have been incidents such as Vidya.
These activists should understand the fact that more than responses, these social menaces require change of attitude within people – mainly of those possible perpetrators. I request Mrs Senanayake to concentrate more on this issue and take short, medium and longterm remedies.
I am totally confused on the comment “Please don’t let the saying “beauty is only skin deep” hold true in your case. Make sure that beauty and real brainwork is the sustainable way to empowering women and girl children.” Is she (Ms Tillekeratne et al) too making sub-standard, sexually oriented remarks?