SRI LANKA: State Terrorism Against Tamil Women

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Lanka Newspapers
Southern Asia
Sri Lanka
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Human Rights

The sexual violence of the Sri Lankan military against Tamil women is fully tolerated by Political leadership and those heading the defense. The Sinhala Buddhists should be rendered sensitive to the sexual violence practiced by the all Sinhala military.

The Video is a footage from a local TV channel`s news bulletin covering the electoral campaign for the Central and North-Western Provincial Council Elections (held on 14 February 2009).

I draw your attention to the very first scene on the video, a speech made by the Hon. Ratnasiri Wickramanayake MP, PRIME MINISTER of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. This is an excerpt of a speech that makes any right-minded Sinhalese extremely ashamed and embarrassed.

Referring to the prospect of capturing the LTTE leader alive in northern Sri Lanka, the Hon. Premier says that he should be killed- and that the one who deserves death should be doomed to death. Furthermore, this bold political leader, the incarnation of far-right wing Sinhala nationalism whose hatred and xenophobia equals those of crude Nazism, says that if he [i.e. the LTTE leader] were a `GIRL`, they [i.e. the soldiers, or war heroes of the Sri Lankan military] could have `TOUCHED` or `FIDDLED` her body!

The most frightening factor is that the PRIME MINSITER of the country is in a position to make comments of this nature in public, at an election rally, and that there are people who fully support views of this nature and continue to vote for the Prime Minister`s political party. THIS SAYS IT ALL ABOUT THE SINHALESE.

NO ONE seems to have seen anything wrong in the Prime Minister`s remarks. Given the man`s age and longstanding career in politics, one can conclude that this STANCE is easily SHARED by the LARGE PERCENTAGEof the Sinhala electorate that supports the present government`s military campaign against the LTTE (AND extended its support to all previous governments that did nothing to address issues of sexual violence perpetrated by the military).

I do not endorse the LTTE in any way, but I dare to point out that sexual violence of the Sri Lankan military against Tamil women is fully tolerated by the political leadership and those heading the defence establishment. This is impunity at its highest, and the Sinhala Buddhist majority should be rendered sensitive to the sexual violence practiced by the exclusively Sinhala military. Such a rapist force will never gain the confidence and appreciation of Sri Lankan Tamils, and ought to be viewed with due contempt by all sincere Sinhala Buddhists (and Christians for that matter). The most recent rape-related press release can be read here: Accessed 15 February 2009.

Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka , Sri Lanka`s Army Commander, publicly affirms that the ethnic minority groups of Sri Lanka are not citizens enjoying equal rights as the ethnic majority (the Sinhalese.

Not a comment one can afford to ignore, as this is the man in-charge of a military force that has been continuously accused of sexual violence against Tamil women, underage girls and young boys in the war-torn areas of northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

It is known fact in Sri Lanka that the military is involved in acts of SEXUAL EXPLOITATION in the most DEPLORABLE MANNER, especially in camps (i.e. `WELFARE CENTRES`) meant for internally displaced persons

By Maitree de Silva