1 October, 2020

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Shiranthi, Women & Girls Missed Your Leadership Patronage

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa,

The First Lady of Sri Lanka,

Temple Trees,

Colombo 3,

Dear Madam Rajapaksa,

A Plea to Give Patronage and Leadership to the Call to End Violence against Women & Girls

I write this note to represent the voice of advocacy of several hundred women and men, both young and old, who gathered at the Lipton Circus this evening to raise a powerful call to end violence against women and girls in Sri Lanka.

The group of activists missed your leadership patronage and your voice of support to strengthen their collective call, made peacefully this evening at the aforesaid event organized by a dedicated group of women. Most of the activists carried placards with advocacy messages, drawing attention to the urgent need for a change in the culture, attitudes and commitment of all in civil society, along with significant changes in the governance structure in an collective effort to eradicate violence against women and girls in Sri Lanka.

Today as people from all around the world came together to mark V-Day, a day to rise up and call for an end to violence against women and girls, women activists of Sri Lanka too joined the V-Day 2013 to mark the culmination of “One Billion Rising Movement”, a global movement of over 200 countries to end gender and sexual based violence. The call made by the women activists was spontaneously supported by other women, girls and men too, who joined in the peaceful public demonstration and candle lit vigil that followed.

Your kind attention is drawn to the enclosed copy of the Sri Lanka activists’ call, containing lyrics adapted from Bob Dylan’s popular song, enclosed. Also enclosed is a photocopy of a print out from the Daily Mirror today, describing the “One Billion Rising 14th February 2013” call and a copy of the leaflet distributed to the public by the activists.

Independent of any collective calls and advocacy submissions of the leaders of the Sri Lanka “One Billion Rising Movement”, I take this opportunity to appeal for your patronage and supportive voice of advocacy in placing before His Excellency the President and the Government, a plea to adopt and implement the undernoted strategies towards Sri Lanka achieving the goal of significantly reducing in the decade ahead, the present high level of violence;

1. The Government and all in Society commencing from today, the 14th February 2013, to commit to take personal and collective steps to reduce the serious incident of violence against women and girls by 50% annually and other acts of violence against women and girls by 25% annually.

2. All Law Enforcement Officials, including the Police, Officials of the Attorney General’s Department, the Judiciary and others associated to commit to clear the entirety of the backlog of inquiries of complaints, institute legal action against wrong doers where acts of violence have been committed and ensure the effective disposal of cases filed in respect of reported incidents of violence against women and girls

3. Every Police Station to have a special unit, under leadership of a lady police officer, to support and facilitate protection and safety of women and girls and to record and process complaints and inquire in to reported incidents of violence (including all reported incidents of domestic violence and other acts of violence against women and girls). These special police units to be required to prominently and publicly disclose for each month and year to date, the number of serious and other acts of violence against women and girls and how many of these complaints have following due inquiry have led to legal action being taken against alleged wrong doers (comparative trends of preceding years should also be displayed).

4. Enact necessary statutory provisions to prevent the grant of bail for serious acts of violence against women and girls 

5. Engage the assistance of Women’s Organizations and Other capable Civil Society groups with the support of  the Law Reform Commission of Sri Lanka and Legal Draftsman’s Department to make recommendations on necessary legal reforms and support speedy review and development necessary legislative amendments  and have them enacted to ensure the safety and security of women and girls and to further detract perpetrators of such violent acts due to the deterrent penal sanctions

6. Arrange to introduce special buses and train compartments for use by women and girls and reserve adequate areas of reserved seating and standing space for them in other public transport vehicles, when mixed travel is allowed

7. Review processes and systems operative in all detention centers, police stations, prisons, correction/rehabilitation centers, orphanages and welfare centers set up by the Government or Non Governmental Organizations for persons with disabilities, illnesses or needing long term care, and ensure that such operative systems and applicable supervision systems provide adequate safety and security of women and girls

8. Require the private sector to adopt rules, regulations, corporate policies and core values that minimize harassment of women and girls in employment within  the private sector and ensure these business entities strictly enforce such polices to safeguard the interests of women and girls

9. Arrange state media institutions ( and encourage private media institutions) to allocate adequate time and space to promote the call to end all acts of violence against women and girls and encourage the development of a national culture of ending all forms of violence and discrimination against women

10. Arrange to establish a permanent Commission (similar to the Human Rights Commission) to promote the due empowerment of women and girls by their capability development (knowledge, skills, attitudes and values), promote their safety, security and protection against violence and harassment and significantly discourage and reduce the numbers of women and girls seeking overseas domestic and other minor employment. This public institution to be adequately funded by national budget support, which must be at a level not less than an agreed fixed percentage of the overseas remittances derived annually in the previous year from women and girls working overseas

You would no doubt appreciate a national culture built on respect for the rights, security, safety and fair/equitable treatment of women and girls, when supported by all in civil society and promoted by the Government, will set the foundation for building Sri Lanka as a nation where equality, equity social justice, law and order prevail, with compassion, loving kindness and equal treatment of all citizens will ensure peace, unity, reconciliation and amity.

The women activists leading the “One Billion Rising Movement” in Sri Lanka will be encouraged and strengthened by your patronage, leadership support and voice of advocacy in pursuit of their collective call to end violence against women and girls

Yours Sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

14th February 2012.

cc. Secretary to HE the President

Minister of Women’s Affairs and Children

Inspector General of Police

Attorney General

Legal Draftsman

Law Reform Commission

Chambers of Commerce

Media Institutions

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Mr. Chandra Jayarathna always stands for justice .It may be agaist the injustice caused to CJ Shirani Bandaranayaka,the child who stole 8 cocnuts to pay for school maintenance,Rizana, the child migrant etc.
    In the same note he has adequately highlighted sexual abuse of women and children , the plight of women migrant workers and called upon the first lady to spearhead a movement to make Sri Lanka a safe place for it’s women.His suggestion of establishing a Commission similar to the Human Rights Commission.Though it is a valuable idea we know that these commissions are a farce to impress the people.As you said correctly the media has a role to play as their tele dramas depict women as play things.They should engage the society to look inwards.The other aspect is the socialisation of the girl child and the boy child in two diffrent ways .Girl child as subservient to men and unempowered.The war,migrating of mothers,single fathers bringing up children, breakdown of law and order religious teachings which look down upon women as subservient to men as practised in the society ,feudal attitudes, male chauvinism and lack of role models,political patronage to rapists are some of the many reasons to the rampant rape and abuse of women and children There has to be a sea change in attitudes of those who matter.We are waiting for a positive
    response from the first woman of the country.

    • 0
      0

      and not first lady of the country!

  • 0
    0

    Chandra Jayaratne is a great, forward thinking, patriotic, rationale human being who firmly believes in development of the land, equality, with justice to all mankind. He a respectable and righteouss and wants to see that every sri lankan is happy and benefis from the public funds this land could produce to all its citizens, he believes people have to be treated equally with fairness and justice for this country to progress because united we stand, divided we fall. May we have many more righteous sri lankans like him and that our King Kong MR President will take heed and Shiranti R will be at the helm of this project so that all women, child and orphans will be protected by the people with the blessings of the government.

    THIS IS INDEED THE NEED OF THE HOUR FOR ALL SRI LANKAN FEMALES TO BE PROTECTED BY THE STATE, AND ALL THOSE DRUG ADDICTS, RAPISTS AND ROGUE GOON POLITICIANS WILL BE GIVEN THE SAME PUNISHMENT AS GIVEN TO THE MURDERERS OF THAT MONK WHO WAS CHOPPED UP AT MORATUWA. IF THE GALLOWS IS ONLY A FRONT AND DO NOT EXIST THEN THE PEOPLE/MASSES WOULD NOT MIND THIS STYLE OF ERADICATION OF GOONS AND RAPISTS FOR THE WELFARE OF ALL SRI LANKANS. NOT THE WHITE VANS BUT REAL JUSTICE MUST BE GIVEN TO SCOUNDRELS AND RAPISTS AND SOULD NOT BE CONDONED BY THE MAFIA REGIME. THE WAY THOSE TWO WERE K

  • 0
    0

    If there is social reform by way of developing good values, principles and virtues consistent with the cultural ethos of Sri Lanka, then, the status of women will be automatically elevated to one of respect and dignity.

    It is futile to simply request that “measures” are taken by the “authorities” to address this segment of Sri Lankan society.

    If indeed the women have of late been degraded and abused or seen as mere playthings to be used and discarded when no longer useful, then it is a social ill, where women too have a role to play, as mothers nurture both boys and girls, into what they become as adults.

    Are similar moves initiated to promote the status of children? Are children given the necessary skills and values necessary to lead a good life as responsible citizens of the future?

    Are the elderly cared for, more than they have been? Are there moral guidelines in place to treat them with respect, look after their needs and ensure they have a decent evening of the lives? Have women been active in this sphere?

    Social reform is far deeper and complex than simply granting some favours to women. Furthermore, society should not depend on the benevolence of a political leader to cast his or her sympathetic eye and ear in salvation. Society must necessarily be at a higher plane than mere politicians.

  • 0
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    This is all b.s.Nobody will protect women in this country.When you complain of sexual assault be careful, the the person to whom you complain may be your next seducer.
    There is only one solution,after you are raped indicate to the rapist that you enjoyed the act and work for a return act a few days later.When the D-Day arrive go with the surgeons scalpel and a blade.When the act is over the man will feel tired and fall a sleep.Then go into action, slit his stomach from the breast bone to the penis, cut his penis and sling it in his mouth and immediately report to the police at the hospital and get your self examined for vaginal penetration. Get a DNA test done.The Police should encourage this action.One such adventurous soul will help to stop all rapes in the world. You will selected for the Nobel price.I cannot under take this as i am a male.

    • 0
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      A male! Oh dear, with that lovely French name I thought u were a woman.

  • 0
    0

    I applaud your work Mr. Jayaratne. Just a quick note of
    sincere gratitude for this letter, and your other works of advocacy! :)

  • 0
    0

    Chandra Jayaratne is indeed an outstanding citizen of
    Sri Lanka and his views are valuable.But,
    what can Shiranthi R do that MR who has all the power to
    deal with rapists ,thugs rogue politicians and the rest of the vermin,
    cannot do or will not do? It is because the rule of law is not enforced
    that everybody including the women, do not get proper justice and
    protection.So can it be Shiranthi R as leader of a movement to protect
    women be against MR the President?

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