23 October, 2019

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Circular Imposing Dress Code Is Irrational, Arbitrary And Violates Constitution: Human Rights Commission Of Sri Lanka

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka says the circular issued by the Public Administration Ministry imposing a dress code on state sector employees is in violation of the Constitution and is irrational and arbitrary.

Dr. Deepika Udagama – Chairperson – HRCSL

HRCSL in a letter to the Secretary of Public Administration notes the circular titled ‘Ensuring Security in the Office Premises of the Government’ fails to explain the rational link between prohibited dress form and breaches of national security and contains unclear clauses such as the ‘additional item’ that maybe worn in keeping with cultural or religious practises.

HRCSL Chairman Dr. Deepika Udagama goes on to note the circular has also left female staffers heavily affected by the restrictions imposed by the circular on the dress code as opposed to male officers who anyway wear the shirt and trouser or the National dress.

While questioning the overarching public need for the circular in question, HRCSL notes the circular is in violation of the prohibition of sex-based discrimination under Article 12 (2) of the Constitution -“No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds :” – as it impacts the right of women to choose their preferred mode of dress – particularly women of minority communities

Dr. Udugama in the letter has asked the circular be withdrawn with immediate effect and lawful and effective measures are taken to ensure security for all.

Below we publish the letter in full:

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Latest comments

  • 11
    4

    HRC,

    Absolutely. It is unconstitutional.

    Now does the President follow the Constitution? Law and order? He released the criminal Ganasara.

  • 9
    2

    “Article 12 (2) of the Constitution -“No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds :”

    Are we serious ??? If this was so the country will not be in this situation today.

    • 5
      3

      Steve, you are damn right!

      “No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of …………… place of birth or any one of such grounds :”

      There was a time when a young Tamil male whose place of birth happened to be some town or village in the Northern Province or Eastern Province, was almost always taken into custody on suspicion when intercepted by the security forces in any of the remaining seven provinces. That was when MR was President and GR was Secretary of Defence. Many of these young men were never seen again!

      That still rankles because those who were affected by this and their families will never forget this.

    • 2
      4

      Steve

      “No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion. language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds”.

      So there it is.

      1. Muslims (men) are entitled for polygamy & their women aren’t entitled have many hubbies.

      2. Muslim men are entitled for polygamy but non-Muslim men & women aren’t entitled for that. (to have more than one spouse).

      HRCSL, action please.

      We love to have more than one lawfully, give us too or deprive the selected group (Muslims) of it.

      • 2
        2

        Your revolution lies beneath a dark hole ??? Seriously

  • 6
    3

    A prompt and timely step.
    Thank you HRCSL.

  • 6
    4

    its like second world war two. England and Germany fought, gave palastinian land to jews. Where as Germans killed jews.Why no Land from Germany given to jews for the genocide?
    People bombed in denims and polo shirts, hijab and niquab banned for women, who didnt come and bomb in hijab or niquab?

    • 2
      4

      What do you know about the PALASTINE or Philistine.
      Better get educated of the history of Palastines and Jews.

      • 2
        1

        Tell us what YOU know about the Palestinians!

    • 3
      2

      jehan

      Translation please.

    • 1
      0

      1.Jews refused to live on Germany after massacre.

      2.What is your connection with
      Arab dress..your grand mother’s all wore this black gown or Saree?

      What ever you do Arabs treat you as Shits because they know very well
      All you are converted Hindus.

      Morroco ruler who claims the direct disendent of your Bedouin Boss tolerate short dress like Europeans
      Learn from him.

      Morroco chicks are famous in Dubai ..Bahrain ..Kuwait…

      Cheers

  • 4
    4

    Dress code is an accepted norm in any civilised country. There is nothing wrong in the circular issued by the ministry of public administration, HRCSL invokes the constitution when it suit certain people, otherwise they turn a blind eye when the constitution is completely ignored. Then what else can one expect in SRILANKA , where power, money and influence speak over everything else. The country is corrupted to the core including the so called human right commission.

  • 3
    0

    When will SRi Lankans start thinking before they act stupidly? If they do that almost all our problems will vanish. Thinking is free after all.

    • 2
      1

      Nathan

      SRi Lankans (whatever that may be) are brilliant people however they lack three things, gray matter, maturity, and wisdom.

  • 6
    2

    KeKeKeKe

    Why these,Musulims suddenly need Arab dress ?
    In the past for generation s Musulim women wore only Saree.

    Tomorrow if some one carry a bomb under this dress and it explodes in a crowded areas ?

    Give them Arab dress tomorrow they will say we will only follow
    Hijiri calender ..later they will ask for separate toilet, canteens ,Halal computer,Halal water bottles like in Malaysia, then say we can’t work near infidels if so we will got to hell.

    Ready to give all.?

    SL Musulims are all converted Tamil Hindus still follows Tamil traditions not Arabic ones.

    Bedouins Arabs with money are destroying the fabric of the society in Asia in these jokers follow blindly.

    Where is this Heaven and Hell?

    Cheers

    • 1
      4

      Cholan the sakkili can you tell the Tamil traditional dress before Muslims arrived. Is it the small piece of cloth wrapped around the waist exposing everything above navel. It was Arab traders who introduced saree to them. They showed how a six yards of cloth can be wrapped around and use the last two yards to cover their boobs. They did this purely for business reason to sell more cloths.

      • 1
        0

        KeKeKeKe

        Another imagination .

        So your great great grand mothers dressed like this before Arabs taught them how to look civilized.?

        So it was your Bedouin Arabs introduced civilization in Asia?

        Now Bedouin Arab Money encourage your women to dress like Arabs.

        A person who speaks Tamil with his mother is Tamil.

        Till 17th century high class clothes weaved in todays South India exported to Europe from Titucorin port.

        Don’t cry like a frog in the well.

        Cheers

      • 0
        0

        ralli hamid
        you are a dumb nitwit. arabs do not wear saree. can i give you a tip go back to your medication.

  • 2
    0

    While you have made some valid points in this matter, Deepika, I also get the impression that you are ranting because you have no work in reality. Just go through your own records and see how minor officials of the commission have thrown out complaints at their own fancy or being sufficiently patronized by state officials themselves. The poorer section of our society is denied the basic rights. How many complaints have come to the commission for not implementing the annual transfers of the government? The origin of the dress code came into being with President Premadasa so dictating what it should be. I am not aware whether the HRC existed at that time, if so why did it keep mum silent all this while? Protecting the human rights is a sacred duty. Let not the chairmanship of the HRCSL be a platform to trumpet that some are champions of human rights.

  • 2
    0

    I hear it was a 30 years old circular, only now being implemented. At least now Madame Deepika is waking up. The Muslim ministers who got the word from Ranil to withhold the circular is no longer in the Parliament. Let’s see if Deepika’s letter helps.

    I have seen circulars like “Women no shorter than knees and men’s no short” for office. That is balancing the Sex issue and not dictating what should be worn.

    But what will happen if men go with skirts and women with Sarong? (Anyway Sarong is not that much known in West and even the known part is some kind of women’s dress).

    But what will happen if somebody goes like Ratnajeevan – one leg full length and one leg short- a hybrid of pants and shorts. The chief may tell Ratnajeevan that he was not wearing pants , so he cannot enter the office. But Ratnajeevan may argue that is perfectly ok, because it is also some “Short” of Pants.

  • 0
    1

    A Dress Code is rational, but Public Admin Secretary seems completely out of touch. These are all yes men carrying notebooks behind politicians. Our politicians are rotten, these public servants worse. What change from India and IAS

  • 2
    0

    Madam, how about wearing under wear and are there any circulars for that? Still I see some guys going “off side”, and women without bra. The other day i saw a woman in skirt and suddenly the skirt went up in a wind and presto no underwear. She reminded me of Monroe! But high time our Gnanasara and his gang including Weeramonkey and Gamon-Pulle to do a fasting unto death. These exposures can easily upset the pure minds of our Sadhus and lose control. By the way is this G-string acceptable to our 2500 year old culture? These dirty suddhas picked the fashion from our native, original amude. I remember appe Daha going to parliamenthu in this cultural dress.

  • 2
    1

    First of all employers can provide guidelines to dress code to suite the type of business they engage in and the customers that they dealing with. Employer duty bound to safe guard the health and safety of all the employees rather than employees adopting to certain practice for the safety of the employer and their premises which anyway own by the people of the country as a whole.

    • 0
      0

      Daya

      It’s not the employer, it should be HRM supported by Trade Unions.

  • 3
    0

    Amend constitution to have only one wife and allow many mistresses otherwise the world’s oldest profession will die a natural death.

  • 0
    0

    The Abaya issue surfaced in March 2018, four Assistant teachers of Sri Shanmuga Hindu Ladies College, Trincomalee lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) that the Principal and the School Board of Management prohibited them from wearing the Abaya at school.
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/muslim-teachers-can-wear-abaya-human-rights-commission-of-sri-lanka-rules/
    HRCSL verdict was correct but appeared to have caved in to political pressure. A lone commenter suggested HRCSL must reconsider the Abaya issue and [“……make it an acceptable wear not to Muslims alone but to all who wish to wear it. In other words it must not be used as identity”].

  • 0
    0

    I have absolutely no respect for this lady, for what she utters quoting a constitutional provision in the choice of the dress. Wearing a dress that is entirely alien to a country’s culture is the issue here. It is now revealed, after the Easter bombing that both men and women wearing this particular Arabic dress are identified with the intolerant extremists/fundamentalists of the Arab world. This fundamentalism has invaded Sri Lanka of late with Middle East money with the agenda of Arabization of this country. At the time of writing the constitution there was no such problem, and I am sure a constitutional provision would have made to address this issue.
    When a majority of the community despise this dress there is an issue which should be addressed by the government.
    There is an attempt to superimpose Arabic culture in this society which can lead religious and cultural conflicts. Hence it is the responsibility of the government to address the issue.
    I heard that when the teacher in question entered the classroom, the children were upset as they could not see her face, which certainly affect their attention to studies.
    HRCSL headed by Udagama cannot order the Government to withdraw the circular. And she should not interfere in decisions taken by the government for the common good of all.

  • 0
    0

    The dress has nothing to do with ISLAM.

    Dress is an Arabic dress code. Not ALL Arabs are Islamic too. eg: Drews Christians in Lebanon. Palestinians…..

    So Muslims in Sri Lanka , Do Not fight to impose and import Arabic Culture into Sri Lanka…just because you might like their religion…..

    If you really like Arabic things perhaps you should migrate to Middle East ….

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