top2.gif - 6.71 K

Raping Lesbians Upheld
by Sri Lanka's Press Council

Compiled by GayToday

Colombo, Sri Lanka—In a ruling upholding the raping of lesbians, the Sri Lanka Press Council has branded same-sex love and affection among women “salacious” and “an act of sadism,” that is fully deserving of rape.

Reacting negatively to a complaint from Sherman de Rose, a gay activist, the Council upheld the propriety of a letter from P. Alles published in The Island newspaper which had denounced lesbians while calling for convicted rapists to violate them sexually as an appropriate punishment.

Alles had suggested that police "get convicted rapists to give zest and relish to misguided wretches."

Sherman de Rose, the executive director of the group Companions on a Journey, said that the Press Council's ruling shows "a clear indication of the strength of discrimination against gays and lesbians in this country"

He'd assumed, when issuing his complaint after the publication last August of P. Alles' anti-lesbian commentary, that advocating rape would be treated by the Council as a breach of media ethics. Requesting that the council take action against the offending newspaper, he had also assumed that Sri Lanka's media watchdogs would automatically reject recommendations of rape.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
India's Lesbians Organize

India: Zealots Close Down Lesbian Movie

Nepali Lesbian Couple Punished

Related Sites:
Sri Lanka: Gay Friends

GayToday does not endorse related sites.

Instead, the five-member council announced that: "Lesbianism itself is an act of sadism and salacious. Publication of any opinion against such activities does not amount to a promotion of sadism and salacity."

DeRose was ordered to pay costs to The Island newspaper in the amount of $28. Human rights advocates and Sri Lankan women's groups reacted angrily.

"It is extremely offensive to have responsible people (in the press council) making statements like this, irrespective of sexual orientation. The question was: did the letter incite someone to commit rape? The ruling is a hate speech (against lesbians)," said Kumudini Samuel of Women and Media Collective.

Sri Lankan activists at a New York-based United Nations meeting on women's rights have been informed of the Press Council's ruling and it is hoped they will publicize it at a caucus on violence against women.

"We don't want to encourage lesbianism here, but this is a terrible ruling," said Maheswari Velayuthan, a human rights lawyer.

bannerbot.gif - 8.68 K
© 1997-2000 BEI