19 September, 2020

Blog

Rape: A Human Issue

By Rashantha N. de Alwis-Seneviratne

Rashantha N. de Alwis-Seneviratne

Rashantha N. de Alwis-Seneviratne

A young girl, in the morning of her life, was brutally raped and killed in Jaffna. The cruelty and sadism of this particular incident impacted on the entire country and not just on the northern community. Rape, on its own, is a cruel act and not unknown in Sri Lanka but the heinous nature of what took place and that the perpetrators were young boys – not hard-nosed criminals or inebriated men, made the entire nation gasp in disbelief. Why and why the viciousness of the attack and of all places in Jaffna, miles away from the wicked, bustling city of Colombo, were questions from the mouths of many.

Yet, rape is commonplace and endemic in some societies. Since the Stone Age, women have been viewed as possessions of first, their fathers and then of their husbands. Rape of women or youths was common in Greek mythology. Roman Law was more progressive in that it did recognize rape as a crime if it were committed against a citizen but not of a slave. Attitudes changed with the Christianization of the Roman Empire: The first Christian emperor Constantine, redefined rape as a public offence rather than as a private wrong, which made the victim an accomplice and was disinherited, irrespective of the wishes of her family. Rape laws in the modern day attract strict penalties but whether they adequately punish the offender and can ever be a sufficient deterrent, are moot points.

One commonly believed myth is that rape is primarily a sexual act. Persons with this belief often place the victim on trial. Her motives, her dress and her actions become suspect not only to law enforcement officials but also to her family and friends. The woman’s credibility may be questioned and her sexual activity and private life may be made public. Often, the media highlights the incident rather than the crime itself and the grossly anti-social behaviour of the rapist. In the recent horrendous rape and subsequent death of a medical student in New Delhi, where she was gang raped by four people in a bus, the lawyers for the rapists were of the unbelievable view that ‘she asked for it by going in the bus at that time in the night’- the time in question being 9 p.m. In their opinion, prevention or avoidance of rape was the responsibility of the victim.

How a woman is viewed by society is quizzical and contrary. A woman as a mother, a wife or sister, is often cherished and protected but outside these relationships, as we frequently see, she is just another human being or unfortunately, be even an object of a person’s unwanted or unwarranted attention. We saw that the girl in Jaffna was the object of revenge, where the clear message was to ‘teach a lesson’ – and an act of sheer aggression but she was someone’s beloved daughter and a sister and potentially, a mother. This was obviously lost on the youth who planned and perpetrated the crime. Therefore, a woman’s position in society, I believe, is situational. That is, throughout the ages, woman’s position has been untenable, making her function fully as a woman only within a closed environment, as outside it, she is at the mercy of the co-habitees of this planet. Rape is an expression of unequal power relations between men and women. Such unequal power relations are not the result of nature or evolution but societies which, through legislation and social custom, have made women second-class citizens. Violence against women, alternatively referred to as gender-based violence, has been acknowledged as a global health problem, in part because of its impact on reproductive health and hence on fetal outcome and child health, as well as women’s health. Women are therefore, unique because they must face these consequences also and become a statistic under other issues as well and not rape alone. Any rational person would find this unacceptable but must acknowledge that it is the reality.

In 1974, Carl Weiss and David James Friar wrote that 46 million Americans would one day be incarcerated; of that number, they claimed, 10 million, would be raped. Male rape is no less unacceptable but the consequences are slightly different. It is a fact that many crimes are committed in prisons all over the world. However, the rest of us are not in prison but must still face the fact that for some, rape is inevitable. Once more, this is the reality.

Rape mapWhile Lesotho leads the World, Sweden has the highest incidence of rape in Europe, alongside of the US, New Zealand and Colombia in South America. Egypt has the lowest rate of rape.

So what really happened in Jaffna? Three boys abducted a girl and raped her and she died. It was reported that this was primarily a crime of revenge. The fact that one perpetrator videoed the entire incident adds another dimension to the crime. Was the young girl one of the inevitable victims that makes up the statistics of rape and sexual harassment? The evidence of a premeditated plan and the brutal circumstances that led to her death clearly disproves that. Also unacceptable was the manner in which the police reacted to the incident.

It is known how physical, economic and psycho-social – war and post-conflict environments impact on children and adolescents. Sexually aggressive behavior in young men, for instance, has been linked to witnessing family violence, and having emotionally distant and uncaring fathers. Men raised in families with strongly patriarchal structures are also more likely to become violent, to rape and use sexual coercion against women, as well as to abuse their intimate partners, than men raised in homes that are more egalitarian. The social environment within a community is, however, usually more important than the physical surrounding.

I would say that the youth in Jaffna were susceptible in many ways, most especially to the freedom that May 2009 brought in its myriad ways. The society in Jaffna and the North and East are enjoying real freedom only in the last six years. Children and especially the youth, are able to express their curiosity now and some may take it to extremes.  Even the issue of drugs probably never crossed them five years ago or earlier because they lived in a closed society, where the LTTE probably dealt the offender a heavy punishment if he indulged in such behaviour. A bird let loose from years of incarceration does not know how to fend for itself, although it would be more adept in adapting to the environment than a human. Though we are at the top of the evolutionary tree, we do not have instinctive behavioral DNA, as the animals below us do. Parents from this same environment have inadequate parenting abilities and fail to give their children the knowledge and the equipment to deal with society, when they come out of an era of suppression. Sexual harassment is a by-product of such an environment and it is no surprise that such a trend has been also reported.

In the aftermath of conflict, it is easy to underestimate the gravity of these children’s situation, as most war-torn societies are facing many other problems of equal or greater scope and resources are often stretched. Youth who have not had proper guidance about social behaviour for a long time, need to be properly rehabilitated by the government, through programmes in school.  This is a society that was repressed in every way.  Parents cannot attend to that aspect of life as they are also getting back to normal lives.  These children would not know how to handle their freedom or deal with the challenges that normally face teenagers.  When we were growing up, there was a lot of interaction between male and female schools in Colombo and many opportunities where we were able to mingle, even though they were supervised by adults.  Schools also had lectures on sex education and on other social aspects.  This is a must.  Children can be easily led astray, as I believe happened with the Tamil-Swiss National in their company.   Curiosity, lack of inhibition borne of a sense of freedom, social naivete and gullibility can play pivotal roles in the lives of young people. I believe that all of the above played a part in this awful crime.

Is the deterrent to this kind of behaviour, sufficient and effective? Article 363 of the Penal Code of Sri Lanka defines the five instances of rape and assault. The 1995, amendments also include mandatory minimum sentences for rape, gross sexual abuse, and acts of gross indecency. A High Court has since found that these mandatory minimums violate Sri Lanka’s Constitution.[1] The CEDAW NGO Shadow Report[2] concludes that this decision has increased impunity in cases of rape and violence against women because High Courts are issuing suspended or reduced sentences in rape cases but in Sarath Malalasekera, Justice P.A. Ratnayake held: HC not inhibited from imposing sentence it deems appropriate in exercise of judicial discretion[3]which is certainly more promising but perhaps, the time has come to make rape a statutory offence in Sri Lanka, given the increase in the incidence of the crime.

A study made by the U.S. Department of Justice of prison releases involving about 80 percent of the prison population, found that the average sentence for convicted rapists was 11.8 years, while the actual time served was 5.4 years. This follows the typical pattern for violent crimes in the US, where those convicted typically serve no more than half of their sentence.

In the UK, rape is a statutory offence and can incur a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, depending on the extent of the culpability and harm. The planning of an offence indicates a higher level of culpability than an opportunistic or impulsive offence and it will be an aggravating feature if harm was inflicted over and above that necessary to commit the offence. The UK took a step further in R v R[4]that there was no longer a rule of law that a wife was deemed to have consented irrevocably to sexual intercourse with her husband; and that, therefore, a husband could be convicted of the rape or attempted rape of his wife where she had withdrawn her consent to sexual intercourse” and upheld marital rape. UK has a far higher incidence of rape – 69,000 female and 9,000 male victims per year[5] with 1,070 convictions – than Sri Lanka, so one could argue that strict laws have not had an effect on the crime it wishes to prevent nor has it been able, thereby, to protect those it intended to but at the same time, the fact that severe penalties are already inbuilt in the law, allows the Courts to take advantage of them at the time of sentencing. Any rape is a traumatic and humiliating experience and although the particular circumstances in which the rape takes place may affect the sentence imposed, the starting point for sentencing should be the same, whether it is relationship rape or acquaintance rape or stranger rape.

The hue and cry that the crime in Jaffna evoked will take a while to die down and disappear into a corner of our minds. Rape is a crime against humanity, just like murder and though loved ones must bear the aftershock, the ripple effect will be felt by all who share the environment. The gang rape case in New Delhi underscored how violence against women is a global issue and not just a women’s issue, as did this crime. Only when the foundational conditions that allow this violence to flourish are changed can we hope to see a sustained reduction in the rates at which women are hurt. Gender-balance cannot be created overnight. Reiteration of gender roles in society, mutual respect and improving the status of women in society must be encouraged at a national level.

We need to help ourselves because the laws do not protect victims. Let us work, as a society, to raise men who are respectful of women. We can do this by talking about rape and such anti-social behaviour at any given opportunity and by taking the message by ourselves or a group or an organization, to the people, especially the children and youth – in the cities and villages. Empowering our youth with knowledge is the key to training them to understand and challenge age old ideas about women as sexual objects. Let us talk about what legal consent is, teach young men to see women’s humanity and the importance of expressing healthy masculinity without the need to exert power and control. Let us talk about social and cultural change when people are young.


[1] High Court of the North Central Province, Case No.HC.333/04 Supreme Court  (30/2008) (Sri Lanka) ruling that the mandatory sentence conflicts with arts. 4(c), 11, and 12 of the Constitution;

[2] Sri Lanka Shadow Report, supra note 9, at 36.

[3] The Daily News (Oct. 21, 2008)

[4] [1992] 1 A.C. 599, House of Lords

[5] The Guardian – Sources: Home Office

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    Can this author really be that foolish? The reason many of those western countries are listed as having as having the highest rape rates is because women in these countries are able to report to police that they have been raped. Is that even possible in a country like Sri Lanka where women are too afraid to report it due to cultural stigma and lack of secure institutions? Many women in america do not report rape but women in Sri Lanka and other Asian countries are even more restricted in what they can tell others. This author sounds like another nutty “western conspiracy” theorist.

    • 2
      0

      Those statistics are given to show the universality of rape. Having a contrary view point is important and inevitable but there is absolutely no reason to be rude. Education should teach people to argue a point without being personal. “This author sounds like another nutty western conspiracy theorist”. Now is that contributing to your argument or are just playing with words to show how smart you are? Come on!

  • 10
    1

    Rashantha N. de Alwis-Seneviratne writes:

    “The cruelty and sadism of this particular incident impacted on the entire country and not just on the northern community. Rape, on its own, is a cruel act and not unknown in Sri Lanka but the heinous nature of what took place and that the perpetrators were young boys – not hard-nosed criminals or inebriated men, made the entire nation gasp in disbelief.”

    You may be right and I applaud your courage and concerns. However this was not the first time such heinous crime has been committed by a gang nor the last. There had been other gang rapes unfortunately not reported in the main stream patriotic news papers.

    Hope you would spend some time investigating other gang rapes which had been committed by brave soldiers, over 20 year period of time. It was done in the name of the country, deem final conquest of a people.

    Alleged Acts of Sexual Violence Against Tamil Women by Members of the Armed Forces During the War

    Excerpts:

    A Sample Catalogue of Incidents of Abuse 1996 -2001

    1996

    11.05.96 Displaced unknown Woman at Kodikamam was raped and killed by unknown soldiers

    19.05.96 Sri Ranjani (18), Puvaneswari (36) and Rajeswari (38) Sarasaalai by unknown soldiers. Rajeswari was Sri Ranjani’s mother and Puvaneswaris sister.

    19.05.96 Woman (Name undisclosed)-Colombothurai-Armed forces

    07-04.96 (45) woman-Thiyavettuvaan-Soldiers

    01.05.96 Pushpamalar (22)-Kachchaai-Soldiers

    09.08.96 K.Baleswari-Kerudaavil-Armed Forces

    07.09.96 Krishanthi Kumarasamy (18)-Kaithady – Soldiers stationed at Chemmani search point. (Tried and sentenced)

    08. 09.96 Vasuki-Jaffna-Six Soldiers (area unknown)

    10.09.96 55-year-old woman-Thirunelvely in Jaffna-Soldiers (area unknown)

    11.09.96 Thanaletchumi (17)-Kiliveddy in Mutur-Armed forces

    Oct 1996 Letchumipillai-Trincomalee-Armed forces

    Nov 1996 Young Girl in Vavuniya-Armed forces.

    03.11. 96 Kanapathipillai Sornamma (35) Pattiyachcholai in Kalkudah-Army stationed in Kalkudah

    12.11.96 S.Thenuka (Ten Years) Pathaimeni in Atchuvely-Armed forces

    31.12.96 S. Siva sothy-Mandoor-Special Task Force at Mandoor.

    Dec 96 P. Vanitha-Mayilambaaveli Housing Scheme-Army stationed at Mayilambaavely

    1997

    09.01.97 S.Navamani P. Jeyanthi (22) and K.Mekala (16)-Thiyavettuvaan-Defence Personnel at Valaichenai Paper Factory Camp. Jeyanthi and Mekala were Navamani’s daughters.

    Mar. 1997 Woman Worker at Kalliankaadu garment factory-Kalladi Road Batticaloa-PLOTE (Mohan Group)

    17.03.97 V. Rasamma (39) and V.Vasantha (28) at Mayilambaavely by soldiers stationed there. Both were sisters.

    17.05.97 Murugesapillai Koneswari (35)-Amparai Central Camp Colony-Central Camp Police .

    19.05.97 Kirubadevi (37)-Madduvil North-Soldiers

    17.07.97 Vijayarani (17)-Araly-soldiers

    05.08.97 Sinnappu Pakkiyam-(37)-Maavadivembu-Armed Forces at Maavadivembu

    19.08.97 S Rajini-Vipulananda Street, Valaichenai-Army at Harbour.

    05.09.97 Bala ndhi (Six years)-Atchuvely-Soldiers

    12.09.97 Rajan i Velauthapillai (23)-Urumpirai North-Soldiers in Kondavil

    16.10.97 Thanganayaki (49)-Amparai-Home Guards

    28.10.97 (40) woman-Manthikai-(Soldiers)

    12.07.97 K.Chandrakala (20)-Alvai. Soldiers

    06.11.97 Shyamala (17)-Pallai-Soldiers

    25.12.97 K. Amutha-Vidathaltheevu, Mannar-(Police)

    27.12.97 Savari Madelleine (31)-Sorikkalmunai-5 division-Sorikkalmunai (STF)

    1998

    16.03.98 S. Selvarani (28)-Meesaalai-(Soldiers)

    15.04.98 P. Ajanthanaa (17)-Ariyaalai-(Police)

    07.05.98 Mentally Retarded woman (36) Nochchikkulam, Mannar-(Armed Forces)

    22.06.98 K.Ragini (23)-Panichchankerni-(Army at Panichchankerni).

    16.07. 98 N. Bhavani (46) Thirunelvely, Jaffna-(Soldiers)

    1999

    11.07. 99 Ida Carmelita-Pallimunai in Mannar-(Soldiers from Pallimunai Detachment)

    17.12.99 N. Vijayalatchumi (19)-Kalmadu, Valaichenai-Tamil ParaMilitary Group in East.

    28.12.99 Saravanabavaan Sarathambal ( 20)-Punkudutheevu, 10th division-Naval personnel

    2000

    21.06.00 Nagalingam Yogalingam Vijitha-Negombo-tortured and assaulted in custody by Negumbo Police

    2001

    01.02.01 T. Ananthy (28 )-Chettipaalaiam-(Special task force)

    19.03. 01 S. Sivamani (22)-Uppukulam, Mannar-Counter Subversive Unit and Navy.

    19.03. 2001 – N. Vijikala (22)-Uppukulam, Mannar-(CSU and Navy)

    19.05.01 Siva rajani-Haig Rd , Bambalapitiya-Alleged Sexual assault by Police and Lodge Management.

    19.05. 2001 Vimalathevi-Haig Road, Bambalapitiya-Alleged sexual assault by Police and Lodge Management.

    24.06.01 28-year-old mother of two-at Maradana checkpoint – Alleged gang rape by Police and Army

    http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/41539

    • 3
      1

      Native Vedda says to Rashantha N. de Alwis-Seneviratne writes:

      “Hope you would spend some time investigating other gang rapes which had been committed by brave soldiers, over 20 year period of time. It was done in the name of the country, deem final conquest of a people. “

      Well state by Native Veddah. Listen to the video below. Do not forget the killings and ethnic cleansing.

      WFR press conference on CSR

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ugokb4GAY8

    • 2
      0

      Look, I understand you may have grievances to air but your comments are completely off point as my piece is about the impact rape has on society and how we can help make it a safer place for men and women. Please understand the reason behind the writing. According to you, the only women who are raped in SL are the victims of either the armed forces or the police and they are all Tamil. Is this fair comment when the majority of rapes in SL are committed by close acquaintances and even within the family? Rape has nothing to do with ethnicity. It would have been far more honest to comment on what really happened in Jaffna. Pin point the issues rather than matters unrelated to what was discussed.

  • 6
    1

    Rashantha N. de Alwis-Seneviratne

    RE: Rape: A Human Issue

    Rape is a Human Rights A Human Issue for a Women to Live Unmolested and Killed by Men.

    “A young girl, in the morning of her life, was brutally raped and killed in Jaffna. The cruelty and sadism of this particular incident impacted on the entire country and not just on the northern community. Rape, on its own, is a cruel act and not unknown in Sri Lanka but the heinous nature of what took place and that the perpetrators were young boys – not hard-nosed criminals or inebriated men, made the entire nation gasp in disbelief. Why and why the viciousness of the attack and of all places in Jaffna, miles away from the wicked, bustling city of Colombo, were questions from the mouths of many.”

    Now, All those found guilty for rape and murder must be hanged.

    Will this stop the rapes? No.

    Do women need to be careful? Yes.

    Should women be modestly dressed? Yes.

    Should women be armed? Most likely, it will help.

    Should women learn marital arts skills? Yes, it may help them escape.

    “Egypt has the lowest rate of rape.”

    Looks like the data supports Sharia Law and Sharia Law Punishment, to handle the Rape Epidemic.

    If the data supports the Earth going around the Sun, and rotating on it’s own axis, so be it. Accept what nature has delivered.

  • 10
    0

    Many factors have been identified as the causes for the calamity that has befallen us. However. these are of a contributory nature rather than primary.
    We have increasingly become a hedonistic society/ country, where the ‘Body’has taken precedence over the ‘Mind’. Sexuality is exploited and celebrated in commerce, the film industry and social intercourse. ‘Sex’ has become the new preoccupation both mentally and physically. Even the old have no other interest in life, except sex! It is an all consuming passion.

    This goes with rampant alcoholism. We drink at weddings, funerals and social home visits. This loosens us up and we become in turns verbose, jokose, bellicose, lacrimose and comotose. We lose our restraints in the process. Our children see us doing this and learn. We misbehave and children observe us and learn. It is easy to learn what is wrong than what is right.

    Our homes do not teach children a ‘Way’ of life that has values, discipline and acceptable habits. We indulge our children and confuse this with love. Our schools do not ‘Educate’, but have become places where they cram, compete and learn bad habits. Most teachers are not fit to be teachers. The minds of children are not refined and cultivated in schools.

    The mushrooming of the private tuition industry leaves little time for children to learn ‘other’ things that matter in life. They are also out of sight of parents for prolonged periods during the day. These tuition factories are not interested in ‘ Educating’ children. They are cram shops coaching children to pass examinations. I believe these tuition factories play a big role in societal decay.

    The society as such has no standards and is a confusing place for the children to grow-up discerning and imbibing what is right.

    There is little time for family conversations, as we watch TV during the little time we spend at home, The children learn more from the TV than from us. The TV is a curse in our society, as much as the internet has become. How widespread is the reading habit among children. How many parents encourage their children to read?

    What we do, our children learn to do better- what is bad becomes worse with time.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1
      0

      You raise many good points. Thank you.

  • 4
    3

    Lady, please, please first understand your own thoughts, before laptopping your verbiage off to CT. Some examples:
    1. We need to help ourselves because the laws (statute and case law) do not protect victims.
    2. Why and why the viciousness of the attack and of all places in Jaffna, far away from wicked Colombo
    3. One commonly believed myth is that rape is primarily a sexual act
    4. Rape is an expression of unequal power relations between men and women.
    5. Sexually aggressive behavior in young men, for instance, has been linked to witnessing family violence, and having emotionally distant and uncaring fathers.
    6. youth in Jaffna were susceptible in many ways, most especially to the freedom that May 2009 brought in its myriad ways

    The only sense I saw were your last words which however sounded like trying to reinvent the wheel because they already represent the tenets of the four major religions in Sri Lanka:
    Quote:
    Let us talk about what legal consent is, teach young men to see women’s humanity and the importance of expressing healthy masculinity without the need to exert power and control. Let us talk about social and cultural change when people are young.
    Unquote.

    You have not mentioned anywhere in your article (deliberate?) that the main reason for lack of justice has been the phenomenal corruption from among the lowest of the lowly police constable to the exalted Chief Justice. But for this corruption, the law as it exists will be enforced, and breaches of the law will be few and far between.

    Lady, do you know how many Rajapaksa Bros Inc sponsored rapists, murderers, white vanners, motorcycle assassins, grease yakas and financial marauders have not even been charged in high profile crimes that occurred during the last many years? Do you remember how Sarath Silva ruled regarding Tsunami Funds? Why did Mohan Peiris give an opinion regarding a sitting President seeking a third term? On what basis did Shirani Bandaranayake okay the 18th Amendment?

    I will be remiss if I do not mention that the fuel that propels this corrupt machinery has been the BEHEMOTH comprising the PRESIDENT, CABINET and PARLIAMENT. The vast majority of them who hold public office have been and are insincere/dishonest and only feathering their own nests. As far as they are concerned they are ‘political businessmen’ considered successful only if they make a million percent ROI.

    Lady, if you are serious in your effort to do good for Society, demand that legislation be introduced to pass into law a Code of Conduct for Politicians, and define a set of offences and prescribe punishments, including imposing the death penalty, depending on the severity of the offence. Convince the voters that at the next elections, they should vote into power such politicians as will agree to this.

    • 2
      0

      Have YOU deliberately misunderstood what I wrote? My piece is apolitical but you have dragged politics into it. It is not even a discussion of what I wrote except to quote from it. I am a mother and I am motivated by the feelings of one. We create society and in SL we can do a lot if we are motivated and committed enough. Not everyone has political hangups or leanings. Teaching responsible behaviour is our job as parents. Crime cannot be stopped simply because there is legislation. In that case we should not have murder, rape, burglary, etc. etc. Victims are not protected by these laws. We – the citizens – in our capacity as parents or elders can do much more to change the younger generation. That is what I meant. A rational discussion is important.

  • 0
    8

    Rape is the price a promiscuous may pays. Burying ones head in the sand is not a solution.

    • 7
      0

      Are you serious? I cannot believe your comment. Only promiscuous men and women are raped? Sir, you really need to educate yourself on life. If it happened to your mother or sister or your wife or brother or son, would you say the same thing?

    • 7
      0

      Are six and seven year old girls promiscuous? Why are they raped?

      When the testicles begin to dictate terms to an ill-developed brain and a perverted mind, it happens!

      When a man begins to see females regardless of age, as designed only for his carnal needs, it happens!

      When a man loses his civilisational inhibitions because of alcohol and drugs, it happens!

      When men and women
      are taught that sexiness is a desirable attribute and it defines them, this happens!

      When a man fails to understand and respect the femaleness in his grandmother, mother, sister, daughter, grand daughter and teacher, this happens!

      When a man forgets that he was born of a woman and was nurtured by her, this happens!

      When a man hates women for whatever reason, this happens!

      They are psychopaths, deviants, alcoholics and drug addicts.

      It is an illness.

      There are also female rapists. There was recently a conviction in I think the U.S.

      The best solution is to teach our children, boys and girls, to develop mutual respect. Protect them and teach them to avoid dangerous situations. Watch their behaviour and friends carefully and take remedial action early. How many parents would take their children to a doctor for treatment of deviant or precocious sexual behaviour?

      Teach the girls that they are not living in a land of saints. Teach them to take care and select their friends- both male and female. Let them not go where there may be danger lurking.

      Teach them that civilisation demands do’s and don’t’s. This is discipline. There cannot be freedom or liberation without this discipline.

      Prevention is the only solution. Do not live to regret.

      Rape in war is a different phenomenon. A soldier is trained not to think and rationalise. He has to become violent to kill and avoid being killed. He is a killing machine primed for the job. The animal in him is brought to the fore. If not, he cannot be a soldier and survive. Although, there are rules of conduct for soldiers, they are observed more in the breech. This cannot be avoided, because we cannot expect soldiers to be violent, brutal, benign and caring at the same time! It is a contradiction that mankind will find hard to resolve.

      Dr.RN

      Dr. RN

    • 0
      1

      Maghribi

      “Burying ones head in the sand is not a solution.”

      Can Agree on that.

      “Identifying the problem, is 95% of the Solution” Bertrand Russel.

      The problem is men who are horney and cannot control themselves, and ignores the rights of women. It is a law and order issue of society, what ever one’s belief system says. It is a criminal issue and human rights issue.

      The Law should punish the guilty accordingly.

    • 0
      0

      Typical brainless Islamic response.

  • 3
    0

    Rashantha N. de Alwis-Seneviratne,
    You have good thought to and given all situational angles of the incidence of rape. It seems that after these thousands of years since the Stone Age, situations have not changed much for women in terms of rape. It is almost as if rape remains a constant entity irrespective of time and efforts to control it. It may shift from place to place, but it will always yet remain. Likewise with murder- if not at an individual level, it will end up in war.

    Patriarchal families will always persist in all cultures, religions, and societies. We can go above and beyond to educate and change the public perception of this. We can go above and beyond to warn shame, humiliate, torture and even kill men who are of the misogynistic nature. We can strive to make families egalitarian. But adverse situational forces of war, displaced families, lack of employment etc. will always give rise to trauma in especially the male mind.

    Societies of yore realized this and shaped their culture to prevent rape. But nowadays, in spite of all we know and understand; in spite of all the modern institutions in place that should prevent rape, other wanton factors will rise up from the sidelines to re-stimulate the rape factor viz. monetary profits from the porn industry, monetary profits from contemporary culture that can be shaped by the porn industry, and birth-control that gives the first two a freer rein than at any other time of history.

  • 1
    2

    Rashantha N de Alwis – Seniviartne,
    Yes I agree, Rape : A Human Issue. So is political denial or imposition by majority community on
    the minority communities by state terrorism or by the power of the votes of the majoritarian community under the pretext of democracy is a Rape. Thus a human issue.

    Killing of SWRD by a clergy directed by a group is also a human issue.
    It can happen again in SL soon.

    MR does not go to Mosques, Churches or Temples for political propaganda for his come back.
    He only goes to Vihares. Rashantha, I am sure you will agree this is a human issue as well.

    JRJ blessed 1983 black July is also a human issue. If it happens again this year with the blessings of R Bros & Co that too will be a human issue. I am sure you will agree Rashantha based on your religious beliefs and political wisdom.

  • 3
    0

    A comprehensive and studied article. I agree with all the views expressed by the writer.
    While punitive measures are a must, we must also examine the psycho-social, physical and other factors that influence anti-social behaviour. The problem cannot be solved by killing or stoning all rapists or for that matter drug abusers and even alcohol abusers.

    It is urgent that the war affected people in the north and east be helped with psycho-social services that was denied them on the excuse of security. Violence against women and children has steeply risen after the end of the war. Even in the south, effects of terrorism and authoritarianism have to be addressed.

  • 3
    0

    It is indeed a very scholarly and erudite analysis on the recent incident of rape in the north of Sri Lanka. Rashantha, however has been charitable towards the rapists. Rape is a weapon of oppression, if not war. In the modern “civilised” society rape cannot be condoned in any manner. Bensen

  • 3
    1

    Rape is the ultimate insult to womanhood.
    We need a ‘flying squad’ of female law enforcers who speak all three languages for investigate allegations of rape as soon as possible.
    Else, rapists will get away with their foul crime, as happens in many instances, even now.
    Female medical officers must examine victims, and record complaints in private, & this will encourage victims to come forward.
    There are countries where such special squads exist.
    No woman dares to go to any police station alone, in Sri Lanka, especially at night.

  • 3
    1

    Yes. Rape is dastardly. Need to castrate all the culprits.
    BUT
    Raped & survived, S.J.Emmanuel & catholic Church by their actions did not help anyone to survive. They sacrificed them. YET NOBODY EITH SPEAK OR CONDEMN. Not even Emmanuel’s superiors not even the vatican

    Todate, nobody has spoken about the scores of INNOCENT YOUNG GIRLS sacrificed by the LTTE in a senseless war AT THE PROPAGATION OF S,J.EMMANUEL.

    Sacrificed & sent to their graves by Catholic priest & Theology adviser to the Bishops Conference in Asia S.J.EMMANUEL.

    PROMISE OF paradise as Martyrs by murdering unarmed civillians, ” Thou shall not kill” a commandment embedded in the Covenant & was the only purpose of the EXODUS.

    Prabakaran is Jesus Christ. LTTE are soldiers of Christ. Suicide bombers are Martyrs worthy of Catholic Burial. How many innocent GIRLS lives were smnatched away.

    THIS IS WHAT EMMANUEL & THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE NORTH OPENLY PROPAGATED.

  • 1
    0

    Thank you, Rashantha, for a well documented and beautifully written article on this difficult subject and for the support you give to women who have suffered much over the millenia of history. And strangely, even more so it seems today, in countries that continue to exploit them and relegate them to a status of being Second Class Citizens, notwithstanding all the rhetoric about Human Rights and Equality even in the so-called developed countries.
    As another comment states…we live in this hedonistic global culture that disseminates garbage using the Internet – what was supposed to work as a wonderful communication device, the downside of which is gradually taking over to disrupt law and order in the most insidious ways.

    It is very disappointing to have so many commentators on these threads attempt to spin the material in your article which you have presented as the human issue that it is, towards misrepresentations and wrongful accusations for political reasons against a very disciplined SL Defense Force, in comparison to what we read about what happens with military elsewhere in the world, and even in Sri Lanka itself when the IPKF was here.

  • 0
    0

    If the law is ineffective one can’t wish away all the evils correlated. An intoxicated rapist after caught red handed may plead that he was under the influence of the drinks he had, and the lawful liquor was the cause. What solution is there for gang rape if the culprists are well aware of the loop holes why they won’t dare again knowing how ineffective the enforcement is? The trend for mixed gender environment is yet not conducive for emancipation as the day falls no decent woman can dare to go out as predators are uniformed. What work did you have at wee hours? Women are encouraged to drink wine to make them submissive and also boost sales of liquor.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.