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[24 Jul 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Rape Convictions and Sri Lanka: The Judicial Wall People Need to Climb

Tuesday, 24th July 2018
By Sajani Ramanayake
In 2001, Jesudasan Rita a 17-year-old schoolchild was abducted by two men and raped in Sri Lanka’s Central Province. The rapists held Rita for four hours in their vehicle and then dumped her in an isolated area.
“The case was heard by nine High Court judges while the prosecution was led by 10 state counsels and more than 20 lawyers, from Caritas Kandy (SETIK) and also from the Kandy Diocese’s human rights …

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[20 Jul 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
What happened to the calls for abortion reform?

19th July 2018, Mount Lavinia
Last week the Daily Mirror published a sensationalist piece on abortion following a Family Health Bureau led event for World Population Day purportedly using UNFPA Sri Lanka data. For many years now the statistic of 1000 abortions a day has been the cause for much consternation among public health practitioners and the general public alike. The writer of the Daily Mirror piece appears to have heard this statistic for the first time, …

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[18 Jul 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Sri Lanka’s Nude Culture Revisited: Responding to Homemade Porn

Wednesday, 18th July 2018
By Hans Billimoria
In December 2017, a school boy tipped us off about a Sri Lankan porn site that included three of his friends. Three girls.  His plea – please take down this site. When we checked, the TRC had previously blocked this site but it had opened up seamlessly under a new URL. Subsequently this site has continued to change its URL regularly, making sure that visitors and subscribers have uninterrupted access …

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[3 Jul 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Bakamoono Fellowship #BakFellow

The Grassrooted Trust, supported by British Council Colombo, are offering fellowships for writers, photographers and videographers in Sinhala and Tamil. The aim is to create content that engages with young people in Sri Lanka via the relationship education portal bakamoono.lk. The fellowship seeks to support 32 young people who will in turn support their peers on issues related sex and relationships. It is not so much about penises and vaginae, and what fits in where, …

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[25 Jun 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
A Response to ‘SC Defers Delivery of Order on July 9’ published in the Daily Mirror

Monday, 25th June 2018
By Deduni de Silva 
“Whilst Canada votes to legalise recreational cannabis use, SL sends women’s equal rights in the fight against alcohol to pot!!”
Gazettes were published and withdrawn in haste; Supreme Court action was filed in equal haste; yet leave to proceed keeps getting postponed and we all wait in anticipation and trepidation!
How deeply etched in our little minds is this so called ‘culture’ and ‘tradition’, and how entwined is the ‘woman’s role’ …

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[20 Mar 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
V Day 2018: PatriANARCHY

This Easter Sunday, Grassrooted presents V Day 2018 PatriANarchy – a look at how our patriarchal values continue to inflict violence on us in Sri Lanka. Like previous years, The performances are based on interviews, discussions and conversations with victims, survivors and perpetrators, and stories covered by the national press.
In 2018 V Day moves to aptly named Idea Hell @ 45/6 Alwis Place Colombo 3 (Near Bishop’s College Auditorium) – A renovated air conditioned warehouse that …

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[5 Jan 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
From the Diary of a Colombo Crossdresser – Episode II

So with the urge to dress up starting to increase with each passing day, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to pull this off without anyone catching on. As with most crossdressers, I had only one option. Since I had no sisters my only option was to try on some of my mother’s old clothes.
Then it became a waiting game to find a time window where I was home alone. Lo …

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[4 Jan 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Sri Lanka Should Tackle Sexuality, Gender Identity Bias

Thursday, 04th January 2018
By Neela Ghoshal
In November 2015, I sat in a small circle of plastic chairs outside a rustic hotel in Sri Lanka’s coastal town of Ambalangoda. Against a backdrop of fruit trees and waves lapping the shore I listened to horrific stories from six gay, bisexual, and transgender people whom a Sri Lankan gay activist had convened to meet with Human Rights Watch.
“Abeeth” (all names are changed for privacy and security), a young …

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[1 Jan 2018 | No Comment | Posted by ]
The Invention of Heterosexuality

Monday, 01st January 2018
by Brandon Ambrosino
The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” It wasn’t until 1934 that heterosexuality was graced with the meaning we’re familiar with today: “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.”
Whenever I tell this to …

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[19 Dec 2017 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Beyond the Report Button: Tackling Cyber-Violence in Sri Lanka

By Amalini De Sayrah
It started with a few comments on Facebook. A 26 –year-old woman shared her opinion on a Facebook status. The discussion was about religion. Someone disagreed with her. The status transformed into a bitter ‘comment war.’ Nothing particularly unusual so far. It was what happened afterwards that was disturbing.
“Following the comments, I had several hateful messages sent to me via Facebook,” she shared.
It didn’t stop there. The angry commenter had purchased a …