Thursday, March 22, 2018 05:41:05 PM

Repeal Colonial Era Laws that Entrench Discrimination and Perpetuate Violence

By Groundviews - Sun Jan 22, 12:22 am

Featured image courtesy NewNowNext

A petition calling for the repeal of laws that perpetuate discrimination against the LGBTIQ community has generated over 1000 signatures in a single day. The petition is being circulated in response to reports that a clause aiming to decriminalise homosexuality was dropped from the Draft National Human Rights Action Plan. We publish below the text of the petition in full: 

As the Yahapalanaya Government that committed to protect and promote the human rights, it is imperative that it takes all measures to prevent discrimination, harassment, violence and other violations against all of its citizens, including those who identify as as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ). Recent media reports indicate that key measures to reform and remove laws impacting LGBTIQ persons, particularly Section 365 and 365A of the Penal Code which criminalises same sex activity and continues to be used to harass and persecute LBTIQ persons, were taken out of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) 2017‐2021. We the undersigned strongly condemn and wish to express our outrage and concern that this Government is seeking to perpetuate violence and discrimination against individuals who identify as LGBTIQ, instead of taking legislative and policy actions to address systemic violence and discrimination dating from the colonial era.
The Yahapalanaya Government announced that it would commit to universal human rights standards and comply with its international human rights obligations in addition to enforcing and reforming national frameworks, including as per the current Constitution of Sri Lanka which guarantees the fundamental rights of all its citizens. The NHRAP is one mechanism through which the Government identifies legislative reforms and policy actions necessary to fulfill its constitutional obligations to “respect, secure and advance” human rights enshrined under Article 4(d) of the Constitution.

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