Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Feedback on Article on Sexual Harassment

Well done Ruah
I was born in Sri Lanka and lived a good part of life there and right now I am living in an European country. But I read Daily News every day on the web and this particular article on Sexual Harassment - aney epa karanda on Sri Lanka through Ruah's eyes caught my attention.
I commend this young lady's guts and would like to congratulate and thank her from the bottom of my heart for having written this article about sexual harassment, which I am sure is the main crisis that most of Sri Lankan women are facing. At the same time I am so ashamed of the vulgar and stupid behaviour of our fellow Sri Lankan men.

All what Ruah wrote in her article was true. So many rape and murder cases occur on a daily basis and nobody seems to be bothered of any of these violent acts. Either they are scared to raise their voice or they just think that it's none of their businesses. It's really a disgrace to our country.

I now live in a well advanced country and men respect women and I am so glad that I am out of Sri Lanka. When I was there and when I used to travel by buses. I have experienced this many a time and sometimes have cried inside the buses. Men just think that we are some sex objects.
My question is that, when so many women prostitutes are in Sri Lanka, why are they coming behind us? I won't accept the reason that it's because of the way we dress or act. No it's not the reason. I always dress modestly and my dresses cover 90% of my body and I have never ever encouraged a man in any way. But still I get to hear some unbearable vulgar comments and even touching.

I was so frustrated when I was in Sri Lanka mainly because of this reason. But now I am very happy that I got out of that vulgar society.

But I cannot be selfish or just keep quiet when my fellow Sri Lankan sisters are going through this trauma on a daily basis. I think all the women who are being harassed by men should stand up for their rights. Otherwise, this is going to continue.

I hope the women's organizations and social service authorities will get together and discuss about a criteria to minimise sexual harassment.

Dear readers, please don't be selfish. This can happen to your own daughters, sisters even your wife. So please take a stand and try to stop this crime. Yes it is a crime.

A lady who has come from New York, cannot even do her studies and research without facing sexual harassment which has made her write an article in the newspapers. Isn't this a shame and a disgrace to our country? Once again Ruah I am very proud of you and I am so glad that you brought this subject to light. Hats off to you.


Sexual Harassment

One could understand the anger and irritation of Ruah when she was subjected to sexual harassment. It's more suprising to note if this could happen to an educated western lady in Sri Lanka what can happen to those women who are naturally shy and timid. I totally agree with Ruah in her observation that in Sri Lanka objection to sexual harassment is given only a lip service and many women travelling in the buses and working in offices find it extremely uncomfortable with this situation.

However I would like to point that this grave situation is a consequence of total moral denegration, corruption and lack of respect for the rule of law within the entire society. It's not a problem on its own.

Why I say this is because I have come across many instence of sexual harassment of young girls and even boys in buses and various other public places by both men and women of all ages. I could even recall similar experiences in my school days.

Another very ugly thing to notice especially in our public buses is that some men and women behave in such despicable manner and still others will dare say anything. Sometimes these acts are committed by lovers and some times very strangely by two unknwon parties who would have just come to known each other inside the bus. Public silence is a norm in all these
occassions probably by the fear that next time when one of them do something like that they do not want to be criticised or probably he/she does not want to open the mouth and get into trouble in an atmosphere where the society does not have time to address even greater problems like corruption and murder.

If you open your eyes and see one has to accept that these are harsh realities in a society in which a whole generation has grown up amids violence and frustration. Unless we address the bigger problems,problems like sexual harassment are going to go down the public opinion as 'trivial'.

Fazly Muhammed

Sexual harassment: aney epa karanda

The above article in the Daily News gives one side of the story. The other side is the provocative way in which girls dress these days with tight fitting pants/ skirts/ Tshirts/ blouses prominently displaying their assets which will tempt even a saint.

Why do girls have to dress like this and ignite the dormant passion in man? Wouldn't there be much less harassment if girls dressed decently?

Damien Perera


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