Sex And The Island

Sri Lanka has a culture of sexual abuse that starts from the moment a woman walks down the street. Even for boys, there is an unspoken cycle of abuse that begins in schools, monasteries and institutions. Families break themselves through incest and abuse and girls from broken homes enter a society that preys on them with impunity.

Couple under umbrella on pier, Wattala

Within marriages there is acceptance of marital rape and spoilt boys grow into spoilt adulterers that think they can get away with anything.

This culture of abuse is apparent every day on our streets, and we just walk on by. Worst of all, we act like this is normal. Our children grow up thinking that this is normal. Men laugh about schoolboy rape and women sneer at girls getting harassed on the bus. And so the cycle continues. But none of this is normal at all. If it happened to your mother, wife, sister or daughter you’d thrash the moron. It’s about time that we collectively thrashed ourselves.

The Superficial

Instead of cracking down on abuse, however, the police have been arresting courting couples in Matara and Kurunegala, huddled under umbrellas, hiding from the sun and errant eyes. These are consensual couples. This at least brings attention to our warped sexual mores, but we’ve arrested the wrong people.

These are just kids with no place to go. They have no higher education or employment to get out of the house yet they have the same needs as anyone else. And for that we give them a room in jail.  The Police Women’s And Children’s Bureau has also begun taking down hoardings which they deem indecent.

There is no mention, however, of the indecent people which make our streets and buses a living torment for every woman and girl.

There is a twin culture of repression and unchecked abuse that is violating the fundamental rights of our women. While the government is right to do something, they’re missing the bigger point.

The Real

If you’re a woman you cannot walk down the street alone. You will get abuse. Men will make noises, they will holler, some will even expose themselves or try to rub against you on the bus. This abuse is excused and thus sexual abuse spreads like a cancer through our society. If a girl is being harassed on the street no one says anything. The girl doesn’t say anything. This is considered normal. If someone is abused on the bus passengers will ask what’s wrong with her.

There’s nothing wrong with her. There are polite ways to dress, but no woman ever deserves to be harassed, or abused, or raped. This happens, but it is not her fault and it has to change. We extend a culture of impunity to sexual abuse and we get a culture of repression and shame in return. It’s much worse than public displays of affection or sexuality. We have public displays of sexual abuse and we do nothing about it. That is the real issue here.

Cracking Down

Women have a fundamental right to travel without harassment. They have a fundamental right to resist and report abuse and rape without fear or shame. They have a fundamental right to choose or refuse sex, even within marriage. Beyond protecting our own eyes from human sexuality, we must protect our fellow human beings.

This has to start on the streets. That is where the culture of abuse and impunity begins, and that’s where people learn that anything goes. Personally, I think there’s a lot of people in this town that need to be thrashed, including many members of genteel society. I’m not that big and I’m not that connected so I have to let that go.

Beyond taking down hoardings, however, the Women And Children’s Bureau should take in people that abuse women in public. Women should be able to report private abuse without shame. We should have zero tolerance for this, and the shame should be on the abuser.

The Bureau

Beyond that, this Bureau should also make it easier for women to report incest, abuse and rape without shame. Because it is not their fault. I repeat, no woman ever deserves to be abused, however she dresses or whatever situation she gets into. Yet for too many people no doesn’t mean no, and there are no consequences to make it so.

But we do, we do need to say no. Not only to displays of overt sexuality, but also to displays of overt sexual abuse.

And then we need to crack down on the sexual abuse within and outside our marriages. We let bad things go in public and we let worse things go among our family and friends. Because we don’t want to rock the boat. But we should.

We don’t let people get away with murder (much), but we do let them get away with rape. We sit there while women are harassed and we don’t help them if they report actual abuse. And so bad men get away with it and ruin things for actual gentlemen. This is way more damaging than any billboard, and it’s a problem that’s not hard to find. Just get on a bus. If the police are looking for something to do, this is a real problem. This culture of abuse and rape is hurting our society worse than any billboard. It has to stop.

48 Comments for “Sex And The Island”

  1. MaPer

    We saw on TV – royal sons going arm in arm with females – at rugger matches, fashion shows etc. – so is it wrong for couples for hold hands & kiss in public?

    • rifai

      You did tell, royal sons – K’negala is no match to royal. They are not coming under thee silver spoon.. This is how all the bureau’s in SL works. They just disturb the poor couples, but they tend to ignore the dirty ones and yet publish in papers.

    • Manju

      U are spot on .. the question remains as to why there is such disparity of the Royals and the Ordinary ….

  2. Shaik Anwar

    You are spot on. Because of our lackadaisical attitude to women’s woes, this country is sustaining a greater loss in that talented and skillful women are no longer entering useful employments or entering Universities or even marrying. This attitude was prevalent in most countries before the Victorian reign but you will note that today most, if not all, have Equal Opportunities Commissions for Women, with purposeful teeth and the macho attitude have melted away. It is time we did the same.

  3. Slaphead

    Does anyone know, who has instructed the police to arrest these young people?

  4. karasi

    It is time the government takes serious action and not live in a denial state. The government when interviewed on TV by foreigners always seem to say such thing does not happen in Sri Lanka. Wake up and address the problem like the western countries do.

  5. lankan

    it isnt bad as he makes it sound. We do live in Sri Lanka, and have been most of our lives….Why do people want to blow things out of proportion just to get their media kicks…

    • streetlamp

      So what, there is a certain magical level at which it is acceptable for SL society to tolerate this sort of behaviour? Don’t be a twit, accept that there is an issue and comment critically to change things for the better. Unless that is, you are one of those morons who catcalls and whistles and “tries to put a jack” on the bus.

  6. It IS bad as he made is sound ‘lankan’. I have heard about how women/girls get harnessed in streets and buses and it is NOT normal. ‘Lankan’ you must be a male for sure, and you believe that all this is normal. And about the dress, our mothers, sisters, daughters have a right to be dressed in any manner that they please, (as long as they are ‘dressed’) and no one has the right to harness them for what they are wearing. Also, young couple should have the freedom to whatever they please within the acceptable norms of the society. If anyone should get arrested, it is these abusive people who harass others.

  7. Doctor of Love

    Our idiots are always blaming the west when it is a sexually repressed perverted society which does not respect women

  8. mish

    This article points out the sheer hipporacy when it comes to the way women in this country are treated.

    Have you travelled in a bus lately? or walked on the road? even in a baggy track suit and T-shirt you’re not spared…… It’s really disgusting to see grown men and even teenage boys act like complete perverts.. it’s by not doing anything that these cads think that they can get away with anything when they are nothing more than good for nothing cowards. The police can arrest a couple for showing affection but they do next to nothing when it comes to abuse and rape(yes even marital rape is still rape)

    Wasn’t there a saying that there was a time when a woman could walk form Dondra to Point Pedro decked out in her finest and adorned with the most expensive of jewels and she would not be harmed? Guess that time is long gone.

  9. Manju

    I thank the writer of this article. Very seldom is anyone willing to talk about reality so openly. I am really not too sure who took this silly move to crack down on innocent poor (in the sense of economic condition) couples. But …

    Were they cracked down only because they had not enough money to afford a five star room for their need? Come on … are the authorities trying to say that this does not happen in five star hotels… why are they not cracked down? Is it only because money talks?

    When Royalty goes around Public Display of Eomotions then what do U call that?
    Why is there double standards to people like this…. even though people are poor they too are citizens of this country and should be able to enjoy equal rights..

    This is height of hypocrisy.. just as the writer had highlighted when there goes so many social damages & disgrace to women & children in public places un addressed … are the poor couples the only ones causing the din to society?

    The writer has mentioned everything that has to be said and I don’t think I need to repeat a thing except agree with the writer whole heartedly… I don’t think no one is blowing anything out of proportion to get media kicks … this is the truth …

    AND SOMETIMES IT’S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO ACCEPT IT…. Try to wake up to reality at least now & stop living in denial …..

  10. Juvanis

    On regular arrests by Police in Kurunegala/Matara.

    (a) Lot of underaged girls are being lured into relationships by young unemployed youth in Kurunegala resulting in them ultimately ending up in sexual relationships. This needs to be looked at and tackled with a broad mind because by just arresting them will not stop them from doing it again.

    (b) Kurunegala town alone has over 30 so called ‘rest houses’ renting out “Rooms”. These places needs to be monitored because these kids who start off just kissing & cuddling in parks & lake round ultimately end up in those places. The not so new DIG & SSP who are known for their ‘No nonsense’ attitude should be able to tackle the menace (lodges) with much ease. i e if they really want to.

    (c) When arresting, most of the time the police do a “carpet clearence” even arresting young and not so young coulples who happen to sit and have a chat without any wrong behaviour.

    Once in Matara a friend of mine and his wife were sitting on one of the benches at the beach stretch opposit Matara Church waiting till 12noon to visit a relative in hospital when the police had come & arrested them although they told them the reason for being there. in Kurunegala also a friend told me that he and his wife both of whom are professionals were sitting in their car at the lake round admiring the view & relaxing were approached by the cops and the language and tone of the cops when questioning had been very degrading to say the least.

    This approach needs to be stopped immediately beacuse it not only is illegal but bring much humiliation & embarasment to them and their families.

    • Manju

      Interesting to note that a couple had been arrested once, but this is not surprising is it of the Sri Lankan Police?… another act of “Bull In The China Shop”… they do have quite a few like same to their credit.. like the slaughter of the mentally instable man at wellawatte beach etc. Well then, they are quite proud of it… and their acts continue to get worse by the day & they call in improving the social service that they render to society at large…. WOW

    • gamay miniya

      If this sort of behaviour by the police happens in the south, anyone can guess what is happening in tamil areas in the north and east. But these happenings are exposed only by tamil websites like Tamilnet which may not be accessible to all.

      • Weera

        Hei Gamey Miniya
        I believe you are a Tamil. Don’t try to make every incident to your advantage. Sri Lanka Police treat every one equally and beat every one equally. You know what I mean. Whether it is Point Peduru or Point Devundara they don’t really care; these Policemen need to be trained well and disciplined in order to make our country a civilised one. I hope new govt will make necessary changes and put their act together.

    • Weera

      Agree. I am thinking who appointed this stupid govt? In Sri Lanka we managed to win the war, but can we win freedom. It seems after war are we going to create a Taliban like state? I mean MR is going to create a Kingdom and going to supress every one? That is why we should not give so much power to any one and should have a good opposition. I hope Bl–dy Ranil leave soon and give leadership to some one like Sajith Premadasa or Karu Jayasooriya. Please go Ranil for country’s sake.

      • Manju

        I don’t like to take this discussion to a political platform… but sadly it leads there as most of this nonsense is due to bad governance and a weak opposition… Hope Ranil sees your message Weera and sees himself out …

        What is the use of winning the war with no freedom….. The war had been won for a few political elites it seems and not for all ….

    • Plain Talking

      I think there are few perverts in Matara and Kurunegala police who get a sexual kick out of harassing young boys and girls. What else you can think of as I still believe that we have not become yet another taliban country.

      • Manju

        At the rate things are happening here looks like we are heading to a Taliban country soon ….. Tell me … what is not restricted these days…. ?? At this rate people might have to seek Government permission & police approval/certificate to marry some one of their choice….

    • Sri Lanka Police arrests couples for kissing in public and kill beggars for begging in public. (click on my name and watch video and read)

      a) Why police has to raid hotels, rests and lodges? People buy rooms paying money to have some privacy and not to end up in jail. How can Sri Lanka promote local tourism if they arrest local tourists? Dont Sri Lankans have a freedom to stay in a hotel or walk in the park? Is this democracy? What type of mind set do they have to peep into bedrooms? Nobody have to interfere another’s privacy. Police/politicians are abusing power. If anyone is under-age, the owner/receptionist is guilty for not checking age upon check-in to hotel. Anyone over 18yrs of age can stay with anyone he or she likes whether single, married, legal wife/husband. This is up to the individual.

      b) More the merier. Let the local hoteliers earn some money. Sinhalese problem is, they cant stand when a person is doing good. Those who complaint are speaking out of jealousy. If you couldnt kiss/cuddle dont be jealous, find one today and get away with your agony on lovers. Some DIG/SSPs take their lovers to some lodges free of charge.

      c) Carpet clearance or what ever, police is treating people like animals. There must be laws to sue police if they harrass people. Police in other countries have less powers. Why police is given so much power to pickup people without a warrant? Shouldnt they give a reason before they arrest a person? Where is dignity of people?

      Why do they choose cities with high poverty? Because people are helpless, afraid and dont know what their rights are. Where are legal help for them? What are lawyers doing when injustice happen to people?

      These types of arrests not only bring embarrassement but ruine futures of young people. Ruine marriages and families. They screw whole society. Some teens suicide because of embarraseement. I have never seen a police like Sri Lanka Police. Until now I have never heard of a good thing Sri Lanka police has done.

      Obata Suba Anagathayak!/?

  11. Jay

    There is no doubt and everyone agrees that our Police Department and Officers lack training. They have basically lost focus and dont know why they exist. They dont realize that they are responsible for maintaining law and order within the culture and values of the times and society we live in and aspire to be. Instead, the Police have become a department of Profit with the Government budget itself forecasting a revenue through Penalties and fines???
    The fault is at the top.

  12. Sean Wijesinghe

    Civil liberties dont exist in Sri Lanka. Its about big brother thinking he knows all.
    Good luck to the poor folk living in a third world country like sri lanka….i dont think the cilvil liberties are going to improve either …

    • Manju

      This is a crazy set up… becoming worse by the day… Big Brother’s My Way or the Highway Theory …

  13. Shan

    Something wrong somewhere. To my eyes, a couple holding hands and sitting on oark bench or on the beach are not crimes. Its just natural. If my son or daughter arrested by police with their partners or boy/girl friend for just being out and about I would take the police to task. I know they would not act indecently. These couples should have the freedom. But what is important is raising aareness of godd conduct, how to enjoy lives without abusing the law.

  14. Love SL

    A very good article, wish it could be an eye opener to public !

    Real situation is far worse than anyone think. Especially in public transport, sexually abusing women is very common. Most men even used to comment about the pleasure in front of their friends after abuses. How bad this society is ? Anyone would think about this when one of his/her close family member get affected. Why do the society allow this, encourage this ? Is that mean, public has a big problem in sexual health in Sri Lanka ?

    Thank you writer of the the above article

    • Most public sex abuses are signs of sexual oppression. Women or men harrassed because sex is oppressed. Everybody is talking of abusee. Ask to oneself why they have to harrass taking a risk of being attacked by peers. We should not forget those women also have feelings. Sex is not allowed before marriage, or not enough. Allow youth to have sex in hotel room, talk sex, watch sex, legalize porn, massage centres, control without baninng sex. Its high time for Sri Lanka to listen to what people got to say, without jailing young lovers. I dont understand why we cant see the big picture.

  15. tde

    Well said! This is the funny side of the country- doing the unnecessary, but not fighting against the necessary rights. I hope that civil rights organizations would strive for the womens freedom & rights and I wish that everyone would support to establish respect for women!

  16. Weera

    I agree with the writer. Yes, women are harrassed by men quite often in buses and other public places such as public gatherings like a musical show. I know our women are shy and don’t want to make a big issue and be patient with the the abuser. They should speak up and put their act together. I know there are some women who speak up and show that they don’t like it and the abuser might not continue with the act. So both women and men have a role to play. I think men have greater role to play here by respecting women who they are and treat them with dignity. If we can respect our own, why not we treat other women with respect. Good article and its time to change.

  17. TERRENCE B DE SILVA

    ANY POLICE OFFICERS EVER TRY TO ARREST THE “ISURUMUNIYA LOVERS” OR THE “TOPLESS MAIDENS” AT SIGIRIYA FOR INDECENT EXPOSURE IN PUBLIC. NEXT THEY MAY EVEN ARREST BREAST-FEEDING MOTHER IN PUBLIC AREAS.

  18. Mamal

    It seems things are moving too fast towards for more westernised norm. 35 years ago, when I was a teenager, it was not acceptable to go out with your boy/girl friend (forget about kissing in public). Now, we can’t take our children to Vihara Maha Devi Park or any beaches. The level indecent behaviour is unpresidented. All sorts of sex do happen in these places. If you don’t believe me, just go during the day time to any of these place and sit down and watch. Such things do not happen in that scale in Europe. I can take my children to any park or beach. There are occational kissing incidents, but that kissing is not as sexualy intense as what we see in Sri Lanka. You guys living Sri Lanka has to (and will) decide what you want. My personal feeling is that indecent behaviour in public places should be stopped. The abuse you see on busses and streets must also be stopped. Sri Lankans are still living in the wild. They don’t know what to do and what not to do. We need strict rules to punish all these if we want our children to grow in a nice and peaceful environment. Those talking against west must visit west and see what they can see in the parks and beaches here in Europe. Compare it to what you see in our Sri Lankan parks and beaches.

    I wish all the best to the govenment for its efforts to get Sri Lanka back in track as a proud Asian nation with mainly a buddhist culture.

    • Mamal, You said “when I was a teenager, it was not acceptable to go out with your boy/girl friend (forget about kissing in publica)” it was the society 35yrs ago. Those days people didnt have TV, mobile phones, computer, internet, sattelite and other technology as we have today. The world has become a village now. News of anywhere in the world would reach any corner withing minutes. Those days we heard news weeks after. Society has changed from single tribe to multi-tribes. Diverse in all aspects. Hard to cater preferences of one group of people instead we need to address issues with open mind. The life styles you and I had, been wasted of fear of social norms. Norms of those days didnt allow to enjoy our youth because we had to wait until we got married. Once we got married, our hormones were not active as we were teens. We were dreaming of romance but romance has over taken by responsibilities. Love, romance and sex are best when young. What is indecent for you would be decent for another. You would rather let your kids watch shooting, murdering another but you would prohibit them watching kissing. What is more harmful to society? Kids dnt have a clue what lovers kiss is. You say public kissing doesnt happen in Europe. You must be in Europe. In Europe people do kiss and show affection in public, walk hand in hand, hug, in beaches they get naked with all family for sun bath or to enjoy nature, even allow to have sex in certain public places. You suggest strict rules to fear and oppress people, just like Talibans do. Those methods dont work anymore. Norms and values change according to time to time. Cultures are not stagnated. Rituals customes, traditions change or modernize. Thats a part of evolution. People like to be closer with nature, enjoy the beauty of nature. What we need is not suppression,oppression or fear people by strict rules but let people understand the importance being respectful in public places. Give younger genration space, places to hang around to avoid seen by kids (if think obscene). But rememebr kids are kissed by moms and dads, they know better than you how it feels like. Kids are told those days life began from worms, now kids are shown delivery of a baby. In Sri Lanka husbands were not allowed to go to labour room those days. Now it has changed for better, I think. Husbands must know the pain of labour. So time has come for you to change too. Enjoy life, before you die!

  19. olubakka

    this is exactly correct mahinda it is time for you to stop these harrasments and abuse
    we think that westerners give us wrong influences but we can use public transport or roads any time of the day without fear in the western society but not in srilanka

  20. Good topic. Women or men harrassed because sex is oppressed. The most famous type of oppression in society is the legal system. Anarchists argue that police and law itself is oppression. Although legal systems control behaviour, they are not considered oppression because they are for the common good. No consideration for individuals with higher sexual needs which are also fundemental right. Sri Lankan police find raiding Ayurvedic massage centres reduces crimes(sex) but in reality as the writer says increase sex abuses. She forgets the individual’s fundemental right for sex. Allow sex, talk sex, watch sex. say no to oppresssion. Legalize porn, control without baninng sex.

  21. Pearl Thevanayagam

    This is why I spent most of my salary on trishaws. I could not abide another person touching me without my consent.

    Here in the UK I can travel alone day or night, in crowded buses (only 12 standing) and i could be wearing anything, nobody gives me a second glance and just in case soemone accidently touches me he/she profusely apologises.

    The reason is here in the West people talk openly about sex, laws are stringent on sexual offenders, the media is not shy about exploring sexual attitudes and there is no censorship on sex and love films or video as long as it did not infringe on others’ privacy.

    In Sri Lanka, the topic of sex is taboo and the men are so suppressed due to the mores of a very conservative culture that their only victims are their wives, boys and children at home and in public any woman or even boys for that matter.

    Indecent exposure gives thrill to these sex-starved men and I remember in my schooldays a Swamy sitting under a tree who used to expose himself when nobody was looking.

    • you mean to say the English culture is superior to our culture. you have not properly understood the attitude of the English men. each minute a woman is raped, women are abused beyond one’s imaginatiion. they are treated lowly. we respect our women, we do not want them to come to the street and display their emotion in public. grown up men and women should set examples to their younger generation. Sexual feelings are natural and should be used for procreation within a legal frame work. Let Sri Lankan preserve their culture.

    • Manju

      I don’t think Pearl said at any point that Sri Lankan culture is secondary to any other… what was meant was that oppression or suppression leads to frustration in human beings … which is quite evident in Sri Lanka. Why do men behave like this … harase women in public? This is bcos we are already living in a place where sex is a taboo subject …. The more U taboo a subject the more it will happen … this is just like illicit liquor.

      And after all, just consider Sri Lankan history, a majority of Buddhist country… it does not have a history of suppression. And Buddhism is not a philosophy of suppression it is a philosophy of freedom ….

      I too have lived in a communist Asian country for a while and now back in Sri Lanka, but see a sorry sight in Sri Lanka with deteriorating human values at large. I have had the pleasure of travelling in public transport in this other country with no trouble what so ever. But I can never do that in Sri Lanka.

      Also, at the rate things are going in Sri Lanka I can well see a Sinhala population decline. Marriage rate is already declining among the Sinhalese due to economic reasons and suppress the younger generation we would see remarkable decline in the population growth. May be the government might like that too.. less people to be responsible for ….

      GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN PARENTS & ELDERS ALONE CAN DECIDE FOR THEIR CHILDREN & THEIR FUTURE

  22. Sam

    A very timely article. All what we experience today are the consequences of adopting “pseudo Vivtorian value” systems which are far different from our own system that excisted before colonization of western powers, which introduced them. They them selves have left those false values behind and adopted more practical methods to solve this type of problems.
    Best example is Netherlands where prostitution and soft drugs are legal and children as young as 11 years get a full sex education-as consequence-women are not harrassed on the streets or at work places, they are very assertive as well and most of all; rape is unheard of, they have very low rates of sexually transmitted diseases and have the lowest abortion rate in the whole world!!
    Our country on the other hand end up having a third of our pregnancies aborted-mind you most of them among married women.

    • well said Sam. Very true, western countries solve issues by tackling the roost causes. Not like oppressing peoples feelings and needs. Sri Lanka need a proper sex education for both young and adults and talk about sex more openly to avoid teens falling into troubles. For adults there must be alternative ways for adultry. People screw up lives because of not having enough sex. Like some countries, we must adopt ourselves to cater the needs of people in legal way. We Buddhists force to be dishonest by our legal system. Even buddha time there was prostituition. I dont understand why government ban porn, massage clinics. This only help to corruption.

    • Manju

      Well Said Sam… so true … this is what I meant by let there be a greater aspect of freedom ….social problems aggravate by denial & suppression.

      But I also see a another picture to this.. take for example the illicit liquor business that is prevelent in Sri Lanka. How much the Government say that these perpetrators of illicit liquor are arrested and punished it still happens? How? Most of the area police personnel are in the pay role of illicit liquor manufacturers and traders.

      By the Government making an issue of the above discussed arrests of couples etc. I feel that the Government is opening avenues for another lucrative business for the police. More avenues for bribery & corruption. I am not pointing a finger at every police officer in the Police Dept. that they are open for bribery & corruption but we are all well aware that this happens & at certain points such corrupt personnel have been brought to books too.

      Like wise I have come to know that certain places where couples hang out or even massage palours are well protected by the police and not raided as the area police happens to be in their pay role….

      So once again where is fair play? Boils down to money talks ….

  23. chiru

    Hey, we should keep voting for the same noobs and surely they’ll grow tired of abusing their powers and look to do the ‘right thing’ some day.

    STOP BLAMING THE TOP THIEVES FOR A MOMENT AND FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE WHO GOT THEM THEIR (YOU!).

  24. san

    I dont agree if a couple kiss or behave badly in a public place where children and others are walking. They should be prosecuted. But it is very bad move by police to take action on couples where they sit to gether and talk.

  25. Swiss Sis

    Some people wrote about sexual oppression as a cause of sexual abuse. It was also what I was thinking while reading the article. It can be a cause, but it will not be the only one. When I was travelling in Sri Lanka and India, I was quite surprised about the fact, how hidden sexuality has to be lived there. This can cause problems. There is nothing wrong, if a couple kisses in public. What should be wrong with that? In Switzerland this is nothing special and children do not even recognize it as something strange, because this is a normal fact here. It doesn’t mean that we have sex in public…just to avoid misunderstanding :-) Every society creates its own rules. It has to be checked, what stands the test of time.
    Sexual oppression can cause sexual abuse. We have many priest in Europe (they follow the precept of celibacy), who have abused children.
    If I read about the abuse on busses in Sri Lanka, I’m shocked. Why do women accept something like this? That’s also a problem: Women are too tolerant, too quiet regarding sexual harassment.
    I think, it is good not to make sexuality a taboo. It is also good to talk about it in a cherishing way. Sex education belongs to our class schedule. Women take sexual offender to court. It is most important, that women stand together. We have to encourage each other to take our own decisions for our own sexuality, and to take those to court who do not respect the decisions we took for ourselves.

  26. Abolish porn ban, sex bans, drugs ban. Tell people, dont force people. Let people choose. Let people see, touch, smell. Government cant filter what people want. Let people explore. People must respect rules and laws. But no extrem laws by govt. Learn basic rules. If “No”, No. If “Yes”, Yes. Respect others. We need some good time, arnt we? No matter whether you Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim, old, young, balck, white, men and women, lets just have some fun. i LOVE 70′S. :)

  27. Rebekah Adams

    You are right. Sexual abuse is prevelant in our society, yet we do little to prevent it. I think partly the reason is that sex is taboo topic in society. People regard it with shame and some are willing to actually talk about it. They consider girls who have boyfriends as “fast” or “sluts.” Also, we ignore the fundamental rights of women. Women have the right to escape violence, travel without harrassment and live a life free of sexual assault.

    I feel that sex education should be made compulsory in schools and parents must learn to talk to their kids about sex. Sex should no longer be viewed as a taboo topic.
    I also think that we must push to criminalize martial rape and spread awareness of sexual assault that is occuring in society. We must also teach young men to respect women and teach young women that the abuse they could potentially face in buses, trains, streets or even their own homes is not normal, but a criminal violation.

  28. Camille

    The situation isnt as bad as they make it look. i do agree that the situation is somehow far from normal or acceptable, but it certainly isnt as bad as the reporter makes it look. I have been living in Australia for the past 3 years and i go back to sri lanka every december for a holiday, and i do not see much of a difference where the boys will holla/whistle at the girls on the streets. i dont think its right to portray the sri lankan boys as if they belong to a cult of rapists. there are bad men everywhere, not only in sri lanka. thats just how the society functions; not to say that it is correct.

    and what is this about incest??? sri lanka has never been known for sexual acts within a family! i think it happens in some places of the world, sri lanka maybe one of them, but it is a massively misleading claim to say that incest activities happen within sri lankan families!! if a foreigner reads this article, they will get the wrong impression that sri lanka is very sexually frustrated country, which isnt true.

    marital rape??? that is also something that happens in most places! but to boldly make a claim that it is a common situation in sri lanka is absolutely preposterous! it may happen but to say that it is COMMON thing is misleading.

    i am not justifying any of these, i am just saying that the writer may have blown the situation out of proportion. these things do happen in sri lanka just like in any other country, but to say that the entire society and culture is sexually frustrated is a very wrong claim.

    i do agree with the writer in the aspect that the government should pay more attention to the real victims of sexual crimes than trying to falsely arrest innocent couples. it is the duty of the government to make sure that the victims feel free to seek justice for the wrong that happened to them. but such a change cannot be brought over overnight, the society has to be moew accepting. but sri lanka is a very traditional country where anything sex related is not talked about openly which maybe one explanation to the said sexual frustration of some people. as much as it is the duty of the government, it is also the duty of the general public to not tolerate any sexual crime.

    i used to believe that all this was happenning in sri lanka because of the very traditional upbringing and customs and the fact that sex is not an openly talked about subject- but now that i think about it, even in the western countries where sex is pretty much an openly talked about topic, the situation is no better. the only way in which it differs is that in western countries, there is a proper judicial system and there are well fucntioning government and non-government institutions where the victims can go seek help from, which is what sri lanka is lacking.

  29. samantha wickramsinghe

    Dear writer,

    It is important to take a stance and have a clear opinion and I appreciate
    you writing this article. As a student who traveled by bus frequently I know
    how common sexual abuse can be since I my self have abused and tried
    to abuse women in public buses. I was aware that I was doing something
    wrong but I never had the guts to stand against it. I have seen both girls. boys
    men and women who stand against perversion and also I have seen a circle
    of perversion continues and some people consider it as normal. Perversion
    scorches our morality and reason and let us fascinate in pseudo desires that would never end. Nevertheless, what I want to say that there should be a uprising against harassment in public buses and public places.
    If school kids can take a step against this our society will look at it with
    opened eyes .

    Thanks

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