Females In Sri Lanka Seek 25% Boost Of Women’s Political Representation

Women’s Groups in Sri Lanka have these days urged all political parties to take required measures to improve the number of females in Parliament.

Issuing a statement following a consultation held on the 11th May possibly on the draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the Ladies and Media Collective says &#8220taking into consideration that it is a sine qua non of great governance (yaha palanaya) that all citizens ought to be given equal access to political representation, regardless of gender, class, caste, ethnicity, and so on.&#8221

Kumudini Samuel - the founder of Women and Media Collective

Kumudini Samuel &#8211 the founder of Ladies and Media Collective

We publish under the statement in complete

Political Representation of Ladies- Making certain 25% Boost

Suggestions made by Women’s Groups in Sri Lanka to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution At the moment under Discussion

Women in Sri Lanka have had the correct to vote from as early as 1931, but quite little chance to turn out to be the people’s elected political representatives-not in either Parliament or in Provincial or Neighborhood Government. This reality has been highlighted worldwide in official statistics, where the nation rates shockingly low on the global index of women’s political representation, even in South Asia, Sri Lanka ranks 140 out of 153 in terms of female representation in Parliament.

Because of this lack of political representation, women’s interests and concerns are barely heard and exert small influence at any level of government. Essential policy decisions, including legal reform, are made in essential regions such as security, economic improvement, reconciliation and democratization whilst barely consulting perspectives particular to females, 52 per cent of the population, and citizens who do not have the identical perspectives as guys do, since they do not take pleasure in the privileges that males have as men in Sri Lankan society. The lack of a sturdy representation of women in selection creating positions is, with no doubt, a main result in of gender blind policy creating.

President Maithripala Sirisena echoed this concern in his 100 day Function Programme, proposing that legislation would be introduced to make certain at least 25% women’s representation in Provincial Councils and Regional Government.

We, citizens and ladies concerned with democratic modify, urge all political parties in Sri Lanka to take needed steps to increase the number of women in Parliament, taking into consideration that it is a sine qua non of good governance (yaha palanaya) that all citizens need to be provided equal access to political representation, regardless of gender, class, caste, ethnicity, and so on.

We, girls, voters and citizens, get in touch with on all political parties assistance the following provisions and consist of them in the 20th Amendment:

165 First Past the Post seats

Reserve seats for females : We ask that electorates that have a majority of women be designated only for females candidates or one electorate per district be allocated only to ladies candidates. This electorate can be chosen on a rotating basis. This guarantees that ladies will get 22 seats. Comparable provisions have been made in India.
Mandatory reservations of 25% girls, in nomination lists submitted by parties: this guarantees that ladies are provided the opportunity to contest the Very first Past the Post seats

District Proportional Representation List

Since this list is modest and limited to 31 seats, every district might only have one or two appointments feasible in numerous instances this may be limited to one PR appointee per district. For that reason, there must be a mandatory appointment of a lady as the very first candidate in the District PR list.

The National List

The national list has a limitation of a maximum quantity of 59 members, but this could go down to 37 in the occasion of seats being allocated from the overhang. As a result the demand is that each and every 2nd appointment from the National list be given to a lady. This will allow females to be appointed to at least 18 seats.

Multi Member Constituencies

Given the probability that some electorates may be designated as multi-member constituencies, a minimum of one particular woman candidate must be nominated to contest these seats.

Mihin Lanka Pilot Snoozes In Cockpit By Himself

A Mihin Lanka Captain was found snoozing in the cockpit of a commercial flight en route to Colombo, whilst his First Officer of the low price carrier was locked out the airline’s sources told Colombo Telegraph yesterday.

Capt Gajendra Wagh (left hand seat) Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama Manager Training and Standards (right hand seat)

Capt Gajendra Wagh (left hand seat) Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama Manager Coaching and Requirements (proper hand seat)

The panic stricken Mihin Lanka First Officer (F/O) of flight MJ 408 Subki Lafir and the cabin crew returning from Sharjah on the 1st of Could 2015, finally succeeded in their frantic bid to obtain re-entry into the flight deck by using the emergency ‘overriding’ access code, after the F/O located himself locked out by his operating Captain Wagh, who was subsequently located rapidly asleep at the flight controls.

“The First Officer and the Flight Purser Rozeena were relieved to lastly gain entry into the Flight Deck following they found themselves in a carbon copied scenario that the fateful crew of ‘German Wings’ found themselves in not too long ago ”, inside sources from within the airline told Colombo Telegraph yesterday.

Coincidentally the F/O Lafir could not have located a a lot more proper day than the 1st of Might to make that dreaded cockpit distress contact ‘May Day! Could Day! Could Day!’.

Even so in this instance he produced this get in touch with out to his Flight Purser Rozeena, who collectively with him managed to sooner or later acquire entry to the Flight Deck by using the secret code made for such emergency purposes.

Captain Wagh an Indian national is reported to often commute from his home town in Bombay to operate his scheduled flights, even though he has his own accommodation in Seeduwa, a town which is situated closer to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake.

Nonetheless on this distinct day it was further reported that he arrived from Bombay in the morning of 30th April 2015 and headed to the Mihin Lanka workplace in Colombo to total some official function.

“Obviously Capt. Wagh was not totally rested for this extended night turn about flight, even although he was provided with adequate time to rest by the airline. This is probably the purpose why he was fatigued on the return sector” mentioned a Cabin Crew member of the spending budget carrier.

What is intriguing to know is why the airline’s newly introduced security rule was not applied by Capt. Wagh and F/O Lafir, exactly where a Cabin Crew Member now demands to be positioned in the flight deck anytime a single of the ‘two man’ cockpit crew measures out.

This amended safety rule was produced by Mihin Lanka when it was advised to all airlines after the low expense carrier ‘German Wings’ recently experienced a similar situation.

First Officer Subki Lafir

First Officer Subki Lafir

In that fatal accident the F/O of that airline locked out his Captain in flight and in a successful suicidal bid went onto to crash the aircraft in true ‘Kamikaze’ style killing all on aboard into the mountain variety of the French Alps.

Even so the duration that the F/O remained out of the flight deck is also of value, as it is now identified that if a person falls asleep for more than 20 minutes his body’s ‘circadian rhythm’ can send him into a deep sleep thereafter.

It is still unsure if the F/O Lafir is however to file an Air Security Report (ASR) with regards to this incident, as Colombo Telegraph can confirm that Capt. Wagh has gone on to operate 3 much more industrial flights because this incident.

However Gerald Mendis Mihin Lanka&#8217s In Flight Solutions Consultant did confirm to Colombo Telegraph that Flight Purser Rozeena had officially informed Manager Manique Rodrigo and also him about this incident in an e mail the following day.

“You can’t blame our Captains for sleeping in the sky as equally our senior management are frequently caught napping on ground when it comes to security connected matters. A comprehensive overhaul requirements to take spot inside the senior management of the Flight Operations Division (FOD) if we are to preserve this an airline safe” mentioned a rather disgruntled airline official.

“Capt. Wagh is almost certainly the only Pilot who could very easily sleep via even a thunderstorm, as he has been caught napping on numerous occasions by several F/O’s who strangely have not officially reported it” continued the airline official.

It was also shockingly reported that the flight handle tower in Chennai had failed in their bid to get via to flight MJ 408 on many occasions when Capt. Wagh was rapidly asleep at the flight controls. A passing Sri Lankan Airlines aircraft had also failed in their try to get in make contact with with MJ 408 during Capt.Wagh’s period of slumber, exactly where they had gone on to use the emergency frequency.

A single can’t blame the sentiments of these airline’s officials as it has now been frequently reported that the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Capt. Druvi Perera’s competencies as a ‘Pilot and an Administrator’ was each exposed in the ‘Weliamuna Report’, which has left many bemused as to how he nonetheless mysteriously continues to stay holding his posts overlooking both airlines.

His appointed Manager Flight / Ground Safety Capt. Keminda Yahampath’s whose position is but to be endorsed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka is also reported to be as tainted as his COO on his own pilot connected incidents.

Whilst Capt. Yahampath was much more popular to have burst the tires of the aircraft he commanded into Trivandrum prior to his promotion and quizzical appointment, his boss COO Capt. Druvi’ Perera’s commanded flight skidded off the runway in Chennai going on to damage the landing strip and lights where it was all hushed up during the instances the nation was run by the Rajapaksas. The Director Flight Operations (DFO) Capt. Pujitha Jayakody’s character is also questionable exactly where he was reported to have getting apprehended and remanded by the regional police in Singapore for ‘shoplifting’. With a pending court case for his theft, Capt. Jayakody has avoided setting foot in the ‘Lion City’ for the previous 25 years.

&#8220That fairly significantly sums up the management of Mihin Lanka’s flight operations department who runs the security portion of the flying business.&#8221 stated our source.

The disparity and inconsistencies displayed by the senior management that now commands both airlines since the merge is where in one more Sri Lankan Airlines reported incident Capt. Anupama Pathirane and his F/O are currently grounded pending inquiry into an incident on that took spot on their flight from Trichy to Colombo final year.

Nonetheless in this instance the Mihin Lanka Capt. Wagh and F/O Lafir still continue in their flying roles.

&#8220The whole nation continues to watch in horror as numerous security related incidents reported in the media is becoming ignored by the Chairman Ajit Dias of both Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka, his Board of Directors and furthermore H.M.C. Nimalasiri the Director General of Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka.&#8221l amented a very senior airport official.

“However what is a lot more severe about this incident is as to why the airline’s management has turned a blind eye especially when this incident took place in international air space. The seriousness of the non-held inquiry up to now is as severe as the incident itself, that now warrants an instant investigation into the management of the flight operations department” the senior airport official further stated.

Absolute Conflict Of Interest: Maithri’s Investigator Weliamuna Need to Go

Very good governance activists in Sri Lanka urged the Chairman of Transparency International Sri Lanka to resign form all posts he currently holds, such as the Special Presidential Process Force for the recovery of illegally acquired state assets.

Weliamuna

Weliamuna

&#8220Just saw the Colombo Telegraph story on the Sri Lankan Airlines inquiry &#8211 the Weliamuna report. Really disappointed myself. I was beneath the impression that the perform accomplished was voluntary &#8211 this is what was told to folks with links to Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL). For your info, J. C. Weliamuna is the Chairman of TISL &#8211 nevertheless. Absolute conflict of interest.&#8221 an activist and a staff member of the Transparency International Sri Lanka told Colombo Telegraph last night.

&#8220He should resign from all posts&#8221 one more employees member and a very good governance activist mentioned.

Colombo Telegraph carried two stories ( click right here and right here) describing that Weliamuna was the former Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka. We apologise for the error.

JC Weliamuna is the Chairman of Transparency International Sri Lanka, co-convener of the Lawyers Collective, Lawyers for democracy and a  key member of the Friday Forum. On 29th of April, he was appointed as a member of the Special Presidential Process Force for the recovery of illegally acquired state assets by President Maithripala Sirisena.

We asked Weliamuna to reveal the quantity he was paid to investigate Sri Lankan Airlines &#8211 the initial government-commissioned inquiry into the prior Rajapaksa regimes’s corruption and malpractices.

Three days ago Weliamuna speaking to Colombo Telegraph confirmed that he along with his group comprising three other members U.H. Palihakkara, B.A.W. Abeywardane and M.K. Bandara had been paid Rs 3.5 million. At that time Colombo Telegraph did request for a breakdown from the chairman of Transparency International Sri Lanka, Weliamuna but he was not in a position to do so. A subsequent email was sent to him seeking this info. Weliamuna has not responded to that question as however. The day before yesterday we emailed Weliamuna as soon as again and requested him to furnish at least the amount he did acquire as his charge but he is yet to respond to that query as well.

Previously when we reported the &#8220Colombo Telegraph blockade, the world wide web provider Dialog Axiata PLC’s and the Jayantha Dhanapala concern&#8220, Weliamuna told Colombo Telegraph, that “Every person has a proper to raise matters of conflict of interest and such matters are typically raised in the public interest (as opposed to private interests). Conflicts can arise in any sphere such as private businesses and even media organisations and therefore I think that Colombo Telegraph, like any citizen, has every appropriate to raise it in the public interest.”

TISL web site says

J. C. Weliamuna (Chairman)

Mr. J C Weliamuna is one particular of Sri Lanka’s leading public interest and Constitutional lawyers, with 24 years active practice. He had appeared in hundreds of top human rights and constitutional cases like landmark governance connected case. He holds a Master of Laws from the University of Colombo, where he served as a going to lecturer. He is also an Eisenhower and a Senior Ashoka Fellow.

Following establishing his legal profession in commercial law, Mr. Weliamuna moved into the fields of constitutional and human rights law, and became an active contributor to nearby and foreign media on governance and human rights challenges in Sri Lanka. He has played a leadership role in many pro democratic movements in the nation and in the sub region.

He was TI Sri Lanka’s 1st Executive Director, where he served from 2002 until 2010. Presently he serves as a director of TI’s Board soon after being elected by International membership of TI movement in 2010.

“There ought to be transparency on each the framework set for the inquiry and the basis for charging – the danger is this ends with those involved profiteering with out [the public gaining] adequate benefits”, a Finance Ministry official told Colombo Telegraph on the situation of anonymity.

The final ‘Weliamuna Report’ report was submitted to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 31st March 2015 and advisable criminal investigations into the complete re-fleeting process and had noted instances exactly where former chairman Wickramasinghe, a brother-in-law of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and airlines’ CEO, Kapila Chandrasena, should be prosecuted.

Imply whilst, yesterday, Ruwan F. Guruge, the owner of Sri Lanka Mirror emailed the following story [of his own website carried] to the editor of Colombo Telegraph, copying to J.C. Weliamuna, Krishantha Cooray, a single of the UNP exco members and the head of the UNP media unit and also to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera. His email reads as follows:

An organised mudslinging campaign targeting Attorney-At-Law &#8211 J.C. Weliamuna has commenced right after investigations have commenced on the Weliamuna report committee with regard to the irregularities at Sri Lankan Airlines.

It is stated that an advance payment of Rs. 12 million has been made for the mudslinging campaign.

The former chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines was non other than the brother of former initial lady &#8211 Shiranthi Rajapaksa.

The Weliamuna report has revealed of staggering financial irregularities and corruption that has taken spot between 2006 &#8211 2014.

The report was handed more than to the President and the Sri Lankan Airlines chairman on March 30.

A lawyer tasked with the campaign against the report and Weliamuna, has been paid an advance of Rs. 10 million. According to sources, a trade union of Sri Lankan Airlines has been tasked with the mudslinging campaign and for this purpose an advance payment of Rs. 02 million has been created.

The mission, which is headed by a prominent official of the Rajapaksa government is also joined by a group of officials facing charges by the Weliamuna committee report.

Editor&#8217s note &#8211 &#8220Weliamuna has been a excellent contributor to Colombo Telegraph, a buddy but moreover he is my private lawyer who is representing me in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. CT did ask Weliamuna a simple question for the benefit of our readers &#8211 the query was pertaining to the charge the Weliamuna group had been paid. When Weliamuna was contacted over the telephone he did confirm the fee to be a sum of Rs 3.5million in total but he was not in a position to offer a break down at that time. CT did create to him subsequently but he is however to reply us.&#8221

Wiliamuna TIS

Dayasiri Jayasekara Is Probably To Be SLFP Prime Ministerial Candidate

Dayasiri Jayasekara is believed to be President Srisena’s strong private preference as successor, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.

President Maithripala Srisena has opened the way for a wide contest to replace him as SLFP leader and he named 3 achievable successors among the “great people” who could assume the crown.

Dayasiri J“There absolutely comes a time where a fresh pair of eyes and fresh leadership would be very good. The party has got some fantastic individuals coming up – the Dayasiri Jayasekaras and the Arjuna Ranatungas and the Duminda Dissanayakas. There is lots of talent there. I am surrounded by really good men and women.” the President told his closest advisors after yesterday&#8217s meeting with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

According one particular of his advisors Sirisena said a “fresh pair of eyes” would be required by 2018 to lead the party right after his retirement.

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday shot down the dreams of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he mentioned that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would not nominate a Prime Ministerial candidate prior to the next election.

Turning down the request produced by pro-MR faction to name the Prime Ministerial candidate of the celebration, Sirisena stated such a measure would be disadvantageous to the celebration at the election. The President’s swift response indicated that he had no intention to accommodate the former President at the next election as the PM candidate of the party.

Sirisena believes family members politics need to be ended, our supply stated.

“President Maithripala Srisena believes that the Chief Minister of the North Central Province Dayasiri Jayasekara is one particular of the party’s greatest ‘strikers’ who will play a prominent function in the subsequent basic election campaign. But he believes that Jayasekera nonetheless has a lot to prove as a critical heavyweight politician.” the source additional mentioned.

Chief Minister Jaysekara, on becoming asked if he had launched any campaign to be the Prime Ministerial candidate, he stated, “no.&#8221

Speaking to Colombo Telegraph he mentioned that if he is given a likelihood to lead the subsequent parliamentary election campaign he would do excellent. “I’m willing to take any challenge to make the celebration win. I have displayed my capabilities in the past” he said when contacted today.

“To win we need to regain the minority votes. I have high level of assistance amongst ethnic minority voters” he additional said.

The Extended Term Answer To Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Difficulty

By Aravinth Kumar &#8211

Aravinth Kumar

Aravinth Kumar

Switzerland (officially recognized as the Swiss Confederation) is a nation created up of four native ethnic groups Swiss Germans (generating up two/3rd of the population live mainly in the north, centre and east), Swiss French (largest minority group at 20% live mainly in the west, which is recognized non-officially as Romandie), Swiss Italians (around 7% reside mostly in the south-east) and the Romansh (.five%). What is striking is that every of the three large ethnic groups live next door to their respective nation of language origin i.e. the Swiss Germans reside subsequent to Germany, the Swiss French next to France and the Swiss Italians next to Italy. Switzerland as a nation should not genuinely exist! But, it does. Switzerland has somehow been in a position to keep all these distinct ethnic groups in one united country. So how come, even although Switzerland has a “large majority, huge minority” circumstance like Sri Lanka, it has not been confounded by the exact same ethnic dilemma that Sri Lanka has had to deal with? How come the Swiss French have by no means fought to separate and type a new country called “Romandie” (or even merge with France)?

Sprachen CH 2000 EN

 *Swiss Federal Statistical Office census of 2000 &#8211 Source &#8211 Wikipedia, Marco Zanoli.

It all comes down to the way in which the country is governed. Switzerland is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 26 cantons. The unity of the nation is upheld by the Federal Council (executive level) and a two-tier parliament (legislative level). Collectively, they are in charge of managing the country’s foreign affairs, defence and security policies, financial matters and enacting legislation that applies throughout the complete country (the federal laws usually takes precedence). The cantons are equivalent in size to a district in Sri Lanka. Just like the districts, every canton is mainly inhibited by one ethnic group 17 cantons are German-speaking, four cantons are French-speaking, 1 canton is Italian-speaking, three cantons are bilingual (German and French) and 1 canton is trilingual (German, Italian and Romansh). Nonetheless, as opposed to the districts, every canton is offered a big degree of autonomy they have their personal constitution, legislature, government and courts. The cantons are accountable for their personal healthcare, welfare, law enforcement, education and taxation. 

The purpose behind why each and every canton is supplied a massive degree of autonomy is due to Switzerland’s recognition that the population requirements in every canton differ due to the political, social and financial difficulties peculiar to that particular canton itself (this is even the case amongst two linguistically comparable cantons). They have understood that a cantonal government compared to a central government, which could be situated on the other side of the nation, has a greater capability at formulating policies which meet the regional requirements. This is since, not only do the cantonal government representatives reside in proximity to the folks, they are usually from the very same community. As a outcome, they are in a far better position to recognize the problems in their canton and provide special options which take into account the distinct culture, history, language and religious practise.

In addition, with each and every canton obtaining the indicates to develop their respective area, it has allowed for a greater spread of development countrywide. This has prevented just the capital city and its surrounding location to develop like we find in Sri Lanka. For instance, the German speaking Zürich, the bilingual speaking Federal Capital Bern and French speaking Geneva (found in the north-central, centre and intense south-west respectively) are all ranked in the prime ten most liveable cities in the world by Mercer. Far more so, Zürich and Geneva are each ranked in the top ten leading global cities.

In my opinion, this is the defining explanation why Switzerland has not been challenged with ethnic difficulties. I think that the root trigger of the ethnic dilemma comes down to accessibility. The reason the Swiss Germans, French and Italians are in a position to co-exist peacefully is due to each group having the potential to access the most coveted jobs due to their respective cantons possessing the power to bring job generating investments. This has stopped a predicament of unequal distribution and therefore prevented a predicament where one ethnic group perceives (which might be reality or not) that they are getting discriminated against. This has regrettably not been the case in Sri Lanka were accessibility has usually been unequally distributed. This inability to access the greatest education or jobs has been what led the Sinhalese and Tamils turning to extremist elements. For instance, if we appear at Sri Lanka pre 1956 and post 1956 we can see that in each and every era one ethnic group was reduce off from the best jobs. Pre 1956, the most sought after jobs exactly where mostly accessible by the Tamils. This was due to the need to be fluent in English and the disproportionate number of English medium schools being situated in the Tamil north. This meant the majority of Sinhalese have been cut off from the greatest paid jobs, top to a large earnings disparity with the Tamils. Stuck in poorly paid jobs, the Sinhalese exactly where simply swayed by the newly formed Sinhalese nationalist party, the SLFP, who had been campaigning for Sinhala to replace English. Consequently, with the SLFP effortlessly winning the 1956 election and making Sinhala the official language, the ideal jobs became inaccessible to most Tamils. This in turn developed a large aggravated group who became effortlessly influenced by extreme Tamil nationalists.

Nonetheless, the Swiss model also has the benefit of bringing advantages to the most deprived individuals in a single ethnic group. The Sinhalese have had their fair share of protests and riots aimed at a government dominated by “their” people e.g. the JVP uprising. Quite a few governments in Sri Lanka have failed to bring top quality jobs to the youth in the rural districts, such as in the Monaragala district, exactly where poverty is rampant. This is entirely diverse to Switzerland, exactly where irrespective if a Swiss German lives in the north or the south, they each equally have access to the same (high) regular of living.

Sri Lankan’s parliamentary and/or presidential elections are synonymous with majority and minority political parties scapegoating the opposing ethnic groups for political gain. Far more so, it is typical to see the biggest parties (SLFP and UNP) appealing purely to the Sinhalese neighborhood, since gaining the majority of Sinhalese vote typically ensures a win. This “divide and rule” tactic utilized by politicians has only ever had the impact of arousing communal conflicts. Yet, even though Switzerland’s political parties can also appeal purely to the German majority, this is not observed.

The explanation is, firstly, the German politicians are in no position to be capable to scapegoat the issues the German community faces on the minorities. This is because, each of the German cantons has power, and hence the faults lie with the German representatives of that respective canton. Secondly, all political parties run on a pan Swiss identity i.e. there are no parties which run on a communal line like in Sri Lanka with the likes of the TNA, SLMC and JHU. Lastly, the structure of the federal level is created in such a way that no ethnic group holds excessive energy. The federal level is split amongst two levels bicameral parliament (legislative) and the Federal Council (executive). Parliament is formed of two houses the Council of States (46 representatives where every canton are represented by two members and every half canton are represented by one particular member) and the National Council (200 members who are elected below a program of proportional representation based on the population of the cantons). Due to this structure, the voice of every single ethnic canton is represented therefore no ethnic group can push for legislation which favours one ethnic group more than an additional. Additionally, the Federal Council of Switzerland is also representative of both the majority and minority. This is because the executive powers are not centred with a single person, rather it is collectively shared between seven members (recognized as councillors the seven councillors every single hold a single of the seven cabinet positions) who are selected from different ethnic cantons. As factors at present stand, the Federal Council is produced up of 5 German and 2 French councillors.

Way forward

For as well long, we have looked at the USA, UK and India as a model of governance to bring lasting peace. These have been attempted and failed models. Most agree, Tamil and Sinhalese alike, that the Indian pushed “13th Amendment” will not bring lengthy lasting peace. Consequently, I firmly think it is time for us to as an alternative tailor a new governance technique primarily based on the Swiss federal model. Right after all, it is a method which has shown to be workable in a comparable sized nation which has a small but diverse multi-linguistic population. It has designed a country where a single can be proud to be a German, French or Italian whilst also becoming proud to be Swiss. Funnily enough, this federal structure came about a few years right after Switzerland’s own civil war 200 years ago. Because then, Switzerland has not faced an internal (or external) armed conflict which is testament to how well the federal structure has worked.

Under is a short outline of how Sri Lanka would operate below a Swiss style model of governance.

  • 3 official languages Sinhala, Tamil and English
  • All citizens of Sri Lanka will be treated equally irrespective of ethnicity, religion, gender or sex
  • Federally Sri Lanka will be secular
  • Introduction of direct democracy Switzerland is the only country in the planet that delivers this. It offers the citizens with an capability to challenge a law passed by the Federal/Canton Parliament
  • Sri Lanka will adhere to a line of firm neutrality this is quite critical to prevent Sri Lanka becoming impacted by any fallout among our regional friends such as India, Pakistan, and China. It helped save Switzerland from getting dragged into the Globe Wars and also prevented ethnic discomfort between the Swiss Germans and the Swiss French throughout the war periods when France and Germany exactly where enemies.
  • Sri Lanka will be split into 3 political levels Federal, District and Divisional Secretariats.

Federal

The federal responsibilities will be the exact same as in Switzerland i.e. foreign, defence and safety policy, monetary matters and enacting legislation that applies throughout the whole nation.

The executive powers will be exercised by the “Federal Council of Sri Lanka”, which will act as each the head of government and head of state. The legislative power is allocated to the two chambers of the “Federal Assembly of Sri Lanka”. The judiciary will stay independent of the executive and the legislature, with energy getting exercised by the “Federal Supreme Court of Sri Lanka” (comparable to the existing Supreme Court). Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte will be the seat of all federal authorities.

Federal Council of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s government will consist of nine members with every member coming from the nine ceremonial provinces (the provinces won’t have any power). The member to “represent” a province will come from the districts which kind a province. For instance, the Western Province is formed of three districts Colombo District, Gampaha District, Kalutara District. Each four years the leader of these three districts will rotate about as the representative of the Western Province.

Every of the nine members will have equal rights. They will every single act as a head of department (cabinet) in the federal administration, but like in Switzerland, all government decisions will be taken in a weekly conference either by consensus or by majority voting of the nine members. The following is a table of the departments which are fixed at nine (Note: the federal functions are not set in stone for each province i.e. the Central Province is not stuck forever with the “Department of Environment and Energy”).

AALike in Switzerland, there will be no complete time head of state. Rather the federal council will act collectively as the head of state. Nonetheless, like in Switzerland, due to the national and international need to have for a distinct individual to represent the country, the representational functions of a president will be taken by a single of the members through a yearly rotation system e.g. the Central Province member will be president with the Eastern Province member as Vice President. The following year, the Eastern member will turn out to be president and the North Central member becoming Vice President etc.

The ‘president’ will be in charge of setting the agenda of the weekly conferences but will have no powers going above and beyond other members. They will also be in charge of addressing the individuals at national and international functions. Nevertheless, like in Switzerland, during any foreign state go to, the foreign leader will be met by the government ‘in corpore’ i.e. by all the members.

Federal Assembly

Sri Lanka will have two tier assembly created up of the
Council of districts (Upper property):

  • Council to represent the 25 districts with elections every four years.
  • Every single district will send two members top to a total of 50 members.

National council (Decrease Property):

  • 200 members elected below a proportional election system. Elections occur every single four years taking place simultaneously with the elections for the Council of Districts.
  • This will act related to the current Sri Lankan parliament.

District and Divisional Secretariats

  • Like the cantons, the districts will have far reaching powers and will choose themselves how to be run. However, all district laws have to conform to the Federal Law.
  • The districts will be further sub divided into the pre-existing divisional secretariats. These will have the very same powers that their equivalent in Switzerland, the communes, has.

Four Possible Places Our Offer you To Sri Lanka

By John Kerry

John Kerry

John Kerry

Mangala, thank you very, very much. Thank you for a wonderful introduction, notwithstanding that you reminded me that I disappointed you in 2004. (Laughter.) I disappointed myself and a few other people.

I am really happy to be here (inaudible) and I’m very happy to welcome all of you here. No, you are welcoming me – it’s a mutual welcome, admiration, effort. And I can’t thank Mangala and Sri Lanka enough for the very generous welcome that you gave me this morning when I first came here. I came over to that historic building that is now the foreign ministry. Thank you for that, my friend.

I also want to thank you for your remarkable efforts – yours and the president’s and prime minister’s – on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka. And I thank you for something else. A week ago I was in northern Canada, just below the Arctic Circle, not far from the Arctic Ocean, where I was assuming the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. And I want you to know it is a welcome change to enjoy the warm weather here. (Laughter.) I didn’t see a lot of igloos around, happily.

I also want to say thank you to all of you who have come here – students, educators, civil society activists, religious leaders, and to everyone from the government, the diplomatic community, and the private sector who has committed time to be here to share some thoughts this afternoon.

It is fitting that we gather today under the auspices of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. Lakshman was, to put it simply, a brave man and a good man. He rejected recrimination in favor of reconciliation. He knew that the future demanded that his country move beyond the more difficult chapters of its past. And he devoted his last years to healing Sri Lanka and to leading it to its rightful place within the community of nations. He said wisely, “We have to live in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankans, tolerating all races and religions.”

So many of you here are the fathers and mothers of this vision. But as any parent will tell you, your obligations don’t end with a child’s birth; they’re just beginning. Sri Lanka’s newfound civil peace has to be nurtured; it must be allowed to grow and become stronger until it is, in fact, fully mature.

If Lakshman Kadirgamar was here and he had lived to see this new era, I know he would be inspired by the people of this country – Sinhalese and Tamil, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Muslim. He would see the possibilities of a Sri Lanka reconciled, democratic, and prosperous, with a united and entrepreneurial people dedicated to making their country a shining jewel of the Indian Ocean and of the broader Indo-Pacific. The United States, I am here to tell you, believes in that vision. We believe in the potential of Sri Lanka, the potential of Sri Lanka’s people – and I mean all of its people. And I can assure you that the United States, that America will stand with you by your side as you build a stronger democracy and a future that is marked by peace and prosperity after so many years of suffering and hardship.

Now, I don’t have to tell you that history. You know it; you’ve lived it. You’ve experienced it for 30 years. Terrorism, sectarian violence, suffering, death, anger, disappearances, moments of hope followed by more loss, more hate, and more fear.

Having gone to war myself, as Mangala mentioned, not very far from here, I know the tragic truth that in peacetime, children bury their parents, but in wartime, parents bury their children. Sri Lanka has known too many generations of parents forced to bury children.

Let me be very clear about this: It is sometimes necessary to go to war, despite the pain it brings. For all of my country’s disagreements with the previous government in Sri Lanka over how it fought the LTTE, we clearly understood the necessity of ridding this country of a murderous terrorist group and the fear that it sowed.

I believe that you learned in the final, bloody days of that struggle what my country discovered to our own anguish during our civil war: There were no true victors – only victims. You saw, I trust, that it is obvious the value of ending wars in a way that builds a foundation for the peace to follow.

And I know you recognize today that the true peace is more than the absence of war. True and lasting peace, especially after a civil conflict, requires policies that foster reconciliation, not resentment. It demands that all citizens of the nation be treated with equal respect and equal rights, and that no one be made to feel excluded or subjugated. It calls for a military that projects its power outward to protect its people, not inward to police them.

It necessitates, as America’s great president Abraham Lincoln said, binding up the nation’s wounds, with malice towards none and with charity towards all.

Today, there are young people in this country who are experiencing peace for the first time in their lives. We need to hope, we need to make certain that they will know anything – that they will never know anything except for peace.

And that isn’t easy – recovering from conflict, believe me, never is easy. Under President Sirisena’s leadership, Sri Lanka’s traditions of critical debate, free press, and independent civil society are returning. The armed forces have started to give back land to people in the north. Your citizens have been asked to mourn all the dead – not just those from one part of the country or one ethnicity or one faith. Incidents of violence have decreased.

The government has stood up against hate speech and created a presidential task force on reconciliation led by former President Kumaratunga. And just this week, the parliament passed and the president championed, as Mangala said, a constitutional amendment that actually limits the powers of his office. Promise made; promise kept.

Now, the problems of Sri Lanka are clearly going to be solved by Sri Lankans. That’s the way it ought to be, but it’s also the only way it’s going to work. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.

But if – but we also know that, in today’s world, everyone and everything is connected. And when we are connected unlike any time in history – everybody’s walking around, even in places where they’re poor, with a smartphone and a cellphone; they’re in touch, they’re in touch with the world. So if there are steps the United States can take to help, we will do so. I know you have your own plan and your own notions about what is necessary, and by no means whatsoever do we intend to try to usurp that or evade that or dismiss that. That would be inappropriate and unwise at the same time. But we do have some suggestions, as friends. And let’s offer four possible areas for cooperation.

First – reconciliation. The majority of you voted for a government that is committed to the difficult task of literally healing the wounds of war. But that’s a difficult job with many components.

Years ago, I want you to know that when I was a member of the United States Senate – in the early years in the ‘90s, Mangala– I was put in charge of an investigation to try to determine the fate of American soldiers, sailors, and aviators who were still missing from the Vietnam War during the 1960s and the 1970s. The families of those in America whose loved ones had been lost were desperately trying to get answers from the government and demanding answers, and they had every right to do so. And we knew that it was impossible for us to try to move forward if we didn’t try to provide those answers. So we did everything possible that there was to try to find out what happened to their loved ones. I traveled to Vietnam something like 17 or 20 times in the span of two years, working with the Vietnamese to let us into their history houses, to their museums, to their documents – even to interview with the generals that we had fought against to see if we could provide those answers.

So we experienced the same emotions and the same search for answers that are present in your country today. And that is why it is so critical for your government to work with the ICRC and the UN in order to investigate missing person cases and try wherever you can – I can’t guarantee it; nobody can that you’ll find the answer for sure – but try to find wherever the truth may lead. No matter how painful that truth is. It’s the right and the humane thing to do – and it is, believe it or not, an essential part of the healing process.

Now, reconciliation obviously doesn’t happen all at once; it requires time and concrete actions. And those have to replace the suspicion with mutual trust and mutual fears have to be replaced with mutual confidence. I want you to know that the United States stands ready to be a partner with you in that effort.

We’ll do all we can to support the government as it makes progress in such areas as returning land, limiting the role of the military in civilian life, and trying to provide the answers on disappeared people. None of us wants to live in a country where the military is stopping its own citizens at checkpoints. And Sri Lanka’s military has so much more to contribute in defending this country, protecting vital sea lanes, and taking part in UN peacekeeping missions all over the world. And as your armed forces make that transition, we’re going to be very eager to work with you and to work with them and to help.

That said, the job of bringing Sri Lankans together also cannot be done by the government alone. So it matters what you say, it matters what people say, and that they have the right to say it. It matters what civil society – that many of you here represent – what you have to say. It matters what religious groups are saying and what they’re able to accomplish, and that they have the freedom to be able to move to do so. And it matters what communities are able to do in order to fix the kind of social problems that impact everyone – from promoting health care and a clean environment to countering domestic violence and drug use – and that the central government trusts people to take the lead.

Now in all this – some may think this goes without saying, but in too many parts of the world it doesn’t – the women of Sri Lanka are playing a critical role, and must. They are helping the needy and the displaced. They’re encouraging people to build secure and prosperous neighborhoods. They are supporting ex-combatants and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and they’re providing counseling and other social services. And these efforts are absolutely vital and we should all support them.

But we also have to do more than that. Here, as in every country, it’s crystal clear that for any society to thrive, women have to be in full control – they have to be full participants in the economics and in the political life. There is no excuse in the 21st century for discrimination or violence against women. Not now, and not ever.

Now, that brings me to the second area of possible cooperation on justice and accountability. Restoring your country’s judiciary is a long-term undertaking that requires high standards for judicial independence, fairness, and due process under the law. Those reforms are often difficult to achieve anyway – we’re still working on some things in our system, believe me; you can see some of it on television – not easy, but it is absolutely essential to be open and honest about trying to do it. Every citizen has a right to seek justice, and every citizen has a right to expect justice for victims of war crimes or crimes against humanity. They’re painful issues; I know that. But if you try to compel people to simply forget the past and try to wipe it away, believe me: They will be more likely, not less, to cling to it. And if you tell them to forego justice under the law, they will be more likely to seek it outside of the law. It will be harder, not easier, to move forward as one country at peace.

And that is why we hope your government will continue to cooperate with the United Nations as it explores the best way to mount a credible domestic investigation into allegations of human rights abuses – an investigation that meets international standards and at the same time, and most importantly, is legitimate in your eyes, in the eyes of the people here. The United States is prepared to furnish whatever legal, whatever technical assistance, whatever help we can to support Sri Lanka as it moves down this path.

A third area where we can work together is the advancement of human rights, here and around the world. The new government that you’ve elected is laser focused on establishing a strong reputation for your country on human rights. And the United States could not be more supportive of that goal. Until just recently, our diplomats routinely clashed with yours on these issues at the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the UN in New York. Now, with the new government, with the turning of this critical page, we have an opportunity to work together. But we also continue to urge your government to release remaining political prisoners, and we would be pleased to assist in those efforts by sending a team of legal experts to advise on assessment and release, which is a critical component of the documents that have to be made in that.

And I say this fully mindful of the fact – believe me – no nation, including the United States, has a perfect record on human rights. We all have to do our best in order to improve. And I hope that the momentum that has been created in Sri Lanka will continue to build, and I’m confident that with the government you have and their commitments reiterated to me today, I have no doubt that you will.

Now, a final challenge on which our two governments may be able to work together is the strengthening of democratic institutions. Here, you have a very strong foundation on which to build. Your former president reminded me that they had lunch, that you had the first – the longest serving supreme court in all of Asia, and that you have one of the oldest parliaments. You have this extraordinary foundation on which to build. We simply offer our support to help you in any way that we can on this effort of capacity building and the challenge of restoring the tradition that you have always had with respect to the fullness of your democracy. We want to help support you in the upcoming electoral processes. Timely elections will be yet another sign of the government following through on its commitments.

Now, the people of Sri Lanka deserve great credit for the recent elections. And I want to congratulate all of you. They’re quite remarkable. You turned out in huge numbers to exercise your rights. Every vote was a victory for your country. And you insisted on historic reforms, including a constitutional amendment that was just restoring the independence of the electoral commission. But hard work remains, my friends, including devolving power to the provinces. The United States stands ready to provide technical assistance to make it easier to implement these measures and to strengthen such critical institutions as the ministries and parliament. We’re also ready to help with asset recovery and the enforcement of anti-corruption rules. Our investigators are prepared to work with your investigators. Our prosecutors are prepared to work with your prosecutors. And we commit that any stolen assets in the United States will be returned to their rightful owners.

We’ve seen in recent decades that free countries can learn from one another, and that, to prosper, they have to be prepared to help one another. And that is why I’m pleased to announce that our governments will launch a partnership dialogue to intensify our cooperation across the board. President Obama has nominated a new ambassador, and as a symbol of our renewed commitment to this relationship, I am happy to announce that we are going to build a new embassy compound. And our partnership dialogue and expanded bilateral assistance will help consolidate Sri Lanka’s very impressive gains. We also want to do this in a spirit of friendship and mutual respect. We’re not doing this as part of any global countering or whatever – make your choices. That’s your right as independent people. But we appreciate and respect and admire the steps that have been taken by you to give yourself a government that wants to restore that government. And in any way that we can help, we stand ready to do so.

So to sum up, Sri Lanka is at a pivotal point. Peace has come, but true reconciliation will take time. Your institutions of governance are regaining strength, but further progress will have to be made. The United States will help when and where we can. And no part of this transition, obviously, will be easy, but if Sri Lanka keeps moving forward, I have every confidence it will take its rightful place of respect and of influence on the world stage.

Sri Lankans should take enormous pride – I’m sure you do – in what has been happening within your borders. But every nation also has to look beyond its borders as well.

For Sri Lankans, that’s nothing new. Your country sits at the crossroads of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. And for centuries, it’s served as a gateway for merchant ships. The Indian Ocean is the world’s most important commercial highway. Today, 40 percent of all seaborne oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz and half of the world’s merchant fleet capacity sails through the Straits of Malacca. And with its strategic location near deep-water ports in India and Myanmar, Sri Lanka could serve as the fulcrum of a modern and dynamic Indo-Pacific region.

The questions now are: How do we get there and what role can the United States play in that journey? Well, let me answer that question by saying that we see our role partly as a leader, because we have a strong economy and an ability to be able to project, but also we see our role as a convener, and most importantly, as a partner.

The United States is already providing leadership on maritime security in the India Ocean in association with close friends and allies across the region, including India, Australia, Indonesia, and Japan. And that requires, in part, a focus on counter-piracy and counter-trafficking operations. It requires investments in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, so that the next big storm doesn’t inflict catastrophic damage on coastal communities. The United States and Sri Lanka are also working together to oppose the use of intimidation or force to assert a territorial or maritime claim by anyone. And we reject any suggestion that freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea and airspace are somehow privileges granted by big states to small ones. They’re not privileges; they’re rights. And these principles bind all nations equally. And the recent decision by India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh to submit to binding arbitration – that’s an example of how maritime claims can be resolved peacefully and through good-faith negotiations.

Now, I’ve said convene also – is a convener. The United States is also a convener when it comes to promoting economic integration. South Asia is one of the globe’s least economically integrated regions. Trade among its countries amounts to some 5 percent of total trade and the cost of doing business across borders due to non-tariff barriers, import duties, and bottlenecks at border crossings is a huge impediment to growth.

That is why the United States is promoting the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor to connect South Asia to Southeast Asia and to spur sustainable development in both regions. IPEC will strengthen energy, transit, trade, and people-to-people ties – on land and sea. And the challenge is: What’s the pace going to be of this integration? If commerce across South Asia is going to become the economic driver that it ought to be, governments have to act with urgency, not settle for half-measures or wait for the next country to go first. And we look forward to working with the Sri Lankan Government as it increases trade and investment with its neighbors in the Indian Ocean and beyond.

So the United States I’ve described as a leader and convener. Most importantly, though, I want to talk about being a partner. We’re a partner in something like disaster relief, climate change, clean energy. Here in Sri Lanka, you lived through the devastating impact of the 2004 tsunami. I’ll never forget hearing the news. The images are absolutely extraordinary, gut-wrenching –entire towns obliterated; raging waters sweeping away people’s homes; hundreds of thousands killed and many more separated from families.

And after the devastation, the American people moved quickly and generously to provide relief. And I’m proud that the United States Marines were among the first responders in the recovery efforts. And USAID alone provided about $ 135 million of assistance, with many millions more coming from the American people’s personal donations.

The earthquake that caused the tsunami was unprecedented in its destructive impact. And as searing as images from Kathmandu this week remind us, the nations of this region have to find common cause in enhancing the preparedness for natural disasters. But we also know that because of climate change, we’re actually going to be facing more frequent and intense disasters across the board. I’m not drawing that out of thin air, and I hate to be the bearer of that kind of a warning, but it’s science that’s telling us – the IPCC of the United Nations, the world’s scientists. And we’re seeing the changes already in so many different places, including the Arctic, that I visited the other day. So the United States stands ready to help respond and prevent climate change by leading the world towards a global agreement at the end of this year in Paris.

I can’t tell whether one storm – nobody can – or another storm specifically was caused by climate change, but I can tell you that scientists are telling us unequivocally that there will be more storms of greater intensity unless we stop and reverse course in what we are doing to send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Now, some people might shrug their shoulders and just say, “Well, there’s nothing that I can do about it.” That’s not true. There’s something everybody can do about it. In fact, all of us know exactly what we have to do. The solution to climate change is a transformed energy policy. Just as climate change presents the United States, Sri Lanka, and the region with a common threat, my friends, the need to develop secure and sustainable energy sources presents us with a remarkable shared opportunity – the greatest market in the history of humankind. It’s an opportunity to make the right choices about conservation, about wind power, or solar power, hydro – which you have, significantly – about fuel and utility standards, about efficiency standards, about building codes, about transportation. And we can – and with all those things – reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and save ourselves, save the planet, literally, from a catastrophe that would be the unrestrained effects of climate change.

Good energy solutions are good climate solutions. And the market represents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity, with 4 to 5 billion users around the world today. Just so you have a little comparison on that, the market of the 1990s that drove our economy to the greatest wealth creation since the early 1900s was a $ 1 trillion market, not multitrillion. And it had one billion users. And that was the technology, communications market. The energy market is 6, 7 trillion now and rising – maybe 9 by the mid part of the century. By 2040, investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $ 20 trillion. That’s a lot of money, my friends – that’s a lot of jobs. So we want to see clean, accessible energy be the biggest slice of the economic pie.

Now, of course, Sri Lanka is much more of a marketplace for clean energy. It is much more than simply a market to attract clean energy, and you know that, and I know that. It’s a cultural model; it’s a huge economic mosaic. It could well become, as you march down this road with the effectiveness you have been these days, a model for democracy and the restoration of democracy. It could show unity in remarkable ways to the region. We see even now, regrettably, that there are signs – troubling signs that democracy is under threat in Maldives, where former President Nasheed has been imprisoned without due process. And that is an injustice that must be addressed soon. But Sri Lanka’s story carries the promise that people can hold their government accountable, use peaceful dissent, use the power of the ballot box and change the course of history. And we can already see here the power of that promise.

We see it in the hard work of a Sinhalese mother who struggles to give her child a good education. We see it in the dignity that comes when a young Tamil man secures a job in which he can take pride. We see it in the common desire of all Sri Lankans to live in a safe neighborhood and a secure nation. We see it in the demand that leaders protect the rights of people and be responsive to the basic needs and aspirations. Those are the values that connect all of us across every boundary, no matter our history, no matter our background, no matter our beliefs and our creed. That’s who we are. Now, I want to leave you with just one story of that kind of belief today.

Karthika is from a Tamil Hindu family. When she was 14, the Tigers kidnapped her and sent her north to Jaffna. She was forced to carry a gun and move through the jungle. She was given barely enough food to survive. And in a firefight one day, bullets and shrapnel blinded her in one eye. For 11 years, her family had no idea whether she was alive or dead.

Eventually, Karthika escaped that hell by fleeing through areas of heavy fighting. She returned home, but in many ways, her struggle was only just beginning. She had limited education, limited skills, having spent half her life surrounded by war. She had few friends, and even fewer prospects to find a job or even to start a life.

After several false starts, Karthika found a USAID program in the Eastern Province that offered her a way out. She trained for months and learned the skills she needed to get her a job in a new garment factory. She started earning an income. And she made an effort to befriend women from the Sinhalese community, something that would have been unimaginable for her just a few short years ago. Asked why she was able to find hope when others didn’t, Karthika said very simply, “Now, it has changed.”

My friends, everywhere there is an injustice, there are men and women who are ready to be the Karthikas of their moment. Men and women who survive a war that wrecks families, and then build their own. Men and women who see what the worst of what people can do, and then dedicate their lives to finding the best in others. You have all borne the costs of war. It’s now time for you to experience and hold onto the benefits of peace. “Now, it has changed” is a claim that each and every one of you can make together. And I am certain that you will make it a proud claim – a badge of merit and honor and success that will be heard and seen by your neighbors and friends all across the globe.

So thank you once again for welcoming me here. It’s an honor for me to be here at this point in your history. And I can tell you that we will not walk away from our pledge to work with you, to go together on this road and on this journey. Good luck to all. Godspeed on the road ahead. Thank you.

*Remarks by John Kerry, Secretary of State – Colombo, Sri Lanka -May 2, 2015

Sri Lanka: Sex Perform Must Be Decriminalized

By Christopher Rezel &#8211

Christopher Rezel

Christopher Rezel

It&#8217s time for Sri Lanka to decriminalize sex perform or validate it in some manner in order to handle what is a decades-old reality.

Bringing prostitution inside the bounds of legality will curb the spread of sexual illnesses, which includes AIDS, and eliminate barriers that drive away social workers from providing these vulnerable guys and girls medical and counselling assistance.

It will get rid of underground criminal elements that now operate brothels and derive the most financial advantage, besides stop exploitation of the desperate and helpless involved in the trade.

In our attitude towards these and other much less fortunate folks in society, we should be guided by the Buddhist perfect of compassion.

Sri Lankan is a nation of higher literacy and the above observations would be self-evident. But there is a tendency in most of us to surrender our rights on ethical problems to the various religions that seek to monopolise them.

Media reports of occasional brothel raids in poorer neighbourhoods may grab public interest but has done small to cease an business that is resilient and widespread. Police raids are scarce at the top finish of town, on star-class hotels and other exclusive venues, exactly where city-savvy prostitutes transact encounters.

sexyIn this regard, it would be naive to promote tourism and feel that single male and female visitors devote their dollars on merely experiencing beaches, landscapes and archaeological artefacts. The reality is that soon after dark they seek out physical excitement and fulfilment in bars, pubs and clubs, such as they would normally do at residence.

Police harassment of sex workers have to only place greater burdens on the lives of men and girls forced into the trade, mainly because of a lack of option employment or a social security network. In many instances, desperation and the require to supply for children would drive divorced or widowed women to the simple option of sex work. That reasoning need to go for the thousands of child-burdened war widows, especially in the north and east, who have all of a sudden turn out to be breadwinners without education or employable abilities.

If their lives are to be turned around, those ladies need to be provided with education and abilities. Subjecting them to the trauma of abuse and humiliation through arrest, production just before a judge, fining and then releasing, is never ever a solution.

Police and judicial resources are much better directed at significant crime locations swamping Sri Lanka, such as homicides, armed robberies, illicit drugs and alcohol, gangs and connected illegal trades. These and other regions of harmful and violent criminality bear tiny comparison with somebody providing sexual solutions, at most a benign trade. In addition, sexual crime is bound to increase exponentially if brothels have been to be eliminated.

Sharmila Seyyid

The topic naturally brings to mind journalist Sharmila Seyyid and her contact for sex work to be legalized and its providers protected (Colombo Telegraph, April 27, 2015. Safeguard Sri Lankan Muslim Journalist Sharmila Seyyid Who Supports Sex Workers’ Rights: Muslim Civil Society.) Sharmila’s contact has led to a regional Taliban element taking it upon themselves to “punish” her and her household, the usual reaction of men in patriarchal societies who hold quick to the view that their power over a woman’s physique should never be challenged.

We should recognise that Islam is a single of the world’s fantastic religions and it is unfortunate that a handful of extremist give it a poor name by interpreting sacred text to suit their own twisted agendas. Such reprehensible activities are now helped by social media by means of which anonymous cowards can stir up these segments of society who are impressionable and like buffalos, appear to a leader.

The authorities must stamp down difficult on such deviants. Otherwise, the Taliban illness may possibly expand right here also and give rise to a plague of self-styled and scheming pseudo imams who victimise innocent citizen beneath the guise of defending Islam. We do not want such loathsome situations, as has occurred in Pakistan, exactly where a young girl, Rimsha Masih, was arrested for allegedly desecrating pages of the Quran, a charge punishable by death in that country, and subsequently the man who had brought about the charge, imam, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, getting arrested for desecrating the Quran himself and planting the pages in Rimsha&#8217s bag.

Rimsha also, like Sharmila, has been forced into exile in a foreign land due to the fact of death threats.

Double requirements

It is unfortunate that in Sri Lanka, as with most Asian nations, sex is a taboo subject. But it would be delusional to think about that all Sri Lankan adults are asexual till marriage, except for that percentage coerced by religious or moral motives, or simply because of physical or psychological failing that require remedial intervention.

Even so, it wouldn’t be far wrong in stating that most Sri Lankan males practise double standards and subterfuge when it comes to sex. We are all virgins and insist on our marriage partners getting untouched as well.

In this regard, it would be intriguing to know the quantity of Sri Lankans who own computers and access sex websites, keeping in thoughts that even lusting is sex, in a cerebral way. (Of course, we would all say we had been only getting curious.)

Belief hurdles

Religious barricades should be overcome if Sri Lanka is to decriminalize the sex industry. The paradox is the uncertainty of no matter whether the country is a secular state, where there is distance amongst organised religion and the nation state, or a theocratic 1, like Iran, where all important choices must have clerical approval.

Buddhist, Christian and Islamic clergy (stated in alphabetic order) have always had a say in the nation’s political life, regularly with bloody impact. Policy-makers in turn exploit politicized clergy, conscious of its capability to influence voters.

That is element of Sri Lanka’s tragedy. But in this, the 21st century, it may be time to bring about a clear separation of church and state. Clerical meddling in civil matters need to be stopped. It is an area lawmakers are voted in to oversee. Mixing religion with a nation’s legal base is bound to trigger strife in between peoples, as it has devastatingly proved repeatedly.

Following all, the clergy is also produced up of fallible guys and girls and their weaknesses are universal. In Europe and Australia, exactly where sex has been an open subject, the systemic sexual molestations or physical assaults carried out in religious institutions over the years has been under scrutiny and public discussion. Such openness might take but much more years to arrive in Sri Lanka and the rest of conservative Asia. But it could be time to cease suffering alone or, alternatively, laughing behind our hands at passed-on secrets. Instead, social taboos need to be stamped out and circumstances created for victims to come forward. Frank and open discussions are the only way to heal.

Smile awhile

Let me finish with an episode that may possibly bring on a smile. My initial sex-connected report, written in the early eighties, never ever got into print. At that time, I was a reporter on the Ceylon Everyday News and my every day rounds brought me in contact with a specialist in venereal illness. He took me to the government clinic down De Saram Spot, Colombo 10, and offered me with statistics and reports on the spread of VD, particularly the tough to treat syphilis. His concern was that sexually transmitted illness was spreading wild and going untreated simply because of a lack of public details. Back at office, I wrote my report and submitted it to the news editor. Sometime later, the political stooge designated deputy editor, who by no means wrote and published a line, named me up and just before spiking my story, told me to refrain from writing indecent reports due to the fact “ours is a household paper”.

It is my hope that Sri Lanka has left such backwardness behind.

It is also my hope that this article will market further public discussion on sexual workers and their sad plight.

*Christopher Rezel, Australia. Writer and journalist formerly a reporter on the Ceylon Everyday News.