Today being the International Women’s Day, I wish to share with you all something that Otthulaippu is subscribing to. I am sure you will all subscribe your time reading and forwarding this to your family and friends to support this cause and raise awareness of plight of our unfortunate women and children in Sri Lanka …..
Thanks and regards
On behalf of Otthulaippu
A damning report was released in August 2016 by Women Association Network (WAN)[i]. This report[ii] discusses the plight of women, who are facing various forms of cruelty and oppression at the hands of men, including their husbands in Northern and Eastern regions in Sri Lanka. They are victims of emotional, financial and sexual abuse and the corrupt police force is said to be not protecting them. The former President Chandrike Kumarathunge of Sri Lanka too has spoken[iii] about this problem that was published on February 15, 2017.
The lack of mental, physical, emotional and financial health and well-being of the women is impacting on the wellbeing of their children and other dependents. Apart from the social and behavioural damage that the abusive environment creates for children, violence perpetration on women can also become a learned behaviour that would have profound impact on the development of the children. They may grow up to thinking, it is okay to use violence to get what they want and as adults, accept violence is part of a normal relationship. This situation is not only disintegrating the current social fabric in the war affected areas but the future of the Tamil community.
We are aware that a number of NGOs are working at the grass roots level to create livelihood and other forms of economic support for these women who have experienced violence; however, these are inadequate to the scale of the problem. Gender based violence in the war affected areas is undermining the health, dignity and security of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence that is particularly affecting women and girls. The humanitarian and economic development work undertaken by many a Diaspora organisations is largely hampered / undermined due to lack of confidence & motivation of women and children as a direct result of gender based violence against them, impact to family harmony and the lack of support system currently almost non-existent. If we do not take appropriate remedial actions immediately, the resources we utilise will not reap all the benefits in the long term for the socio-economic development of our people.
Tamil Women’s Development Group (TWDG)[iv] is a Sydney based women’s organisation. We, in TWDG, believe it is everyone’s duty to protect the helpless and vulnerable women and wish to act to mitigate and prevent such incidents in a positive and productive way instead of this issue becoming just a talking point. We wish to create awareness of this issue within and outside Sri Lanka among the concerned people with the view to rally help and support to start addressing in a cohesive and concerted manner. The Hon. Chandrani Bandara, Minister of Women and Child Affairs submitted the Policy Framework and National Plan of Action to address Sexual and Gender–based Violence to the Cabinet (Cabinet Paper 16/0964/740/006). The National Plan of Action to address SGBV was approved by the Cabinet on 7th June 2016. Implementation of such an action plan in the Tamil areas require Tamil speaking volunteers, concerned professionals and other resources.
This is a campaign initiated by TWDG to engage all concerned people and rally worldwide attention and support by expression of concern and offer of help to address this serious human rights violation, with the view to save thousands of hurting women from unspoken tragedy.
We solicit the support of your organisation to join and participate with hundreds of other organisations worldwide that will subscribe to express their concerns as one united voice and consolidate offer of involvement and support to make a difference.
To support this important cause, all you need to do is to get your organisation to endorse and add its name to this petition. Your affiliated organisation could be an informal group such as a mother’s group, leisure/sporting club or a formal body such as alumni, Lions/Rotary Club or a charity group.
The response will be forwarded to the Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinge and the Hon. Chandrani Bandara, Minister of Women and Child Affairs. The Institute of Regional Development and Governance (A Civil Society Organisation in Sri Lanka)[v] will follow-up with the government of Sri Lanka and the international community to implement large scale interventions.
If you need any further information, please send an email to [email protected]
[i] Women’s Action Network (WAN) consists of eight community-based organisations that are working mainly in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The members are Mannar Women’s Development Federation, Sangami Pengal Ammaipu, Muslim Women’s Development Trust, Vallamai Women’s Collective, Affected Women’s Forum, We Can (women with special needs), Third Eye and Social, Economical & Environmental Developers.
[ii] The full report can be accessed here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/
Treaties/CEDAW/Shared% 20Documents/LKA/INT_CEDAW_NGO_ LKA_25964_E.pdf