Sri Lanka, Asia

Sri Lanka was considered one of the "world's most politically unstable countries" by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in 2004. The Economist labels Sri Lanka a "flawed democracy" in its 2006 rankings. However, Sri Lanka, according to the US State Department in 2005, was classified a "stable democracy" amidst a ceasefire period of the long running civil war, which finally ended in 2009.
Homosexuality is illegal in Sri Lanka. Punishment ranges from a fine to 10 years in prison. In certain situations, cross-dressing is tolerated. Since the 1990s their have been public efforts made to advance the rights of LGBT Sri Lankans. In 1995, "Companions on a Journey" was founded by a group of LGBT Sri Lankans to advance LGBT human rights. It was later joined by the "Womens Support Group" and "Equal Ground". The organizations have organized conferences, yearly pride festivals, promoted AIDS-HIV education and lobbied for LGBT civil rights.

 

 

A Push To Decriminalize Homosexuality

Sashini, a transgender woman in Colombo, has formally petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to urge the government to recognize her as female by issuing her official documents that reflect her lived gender. A strong push is being made to decriminalise homosexuality in Sri Lanka and to provide greater protection for all sexual minorities. Efforts… Read more »

Criminalizing Men Who Have Sex With Men Boosts AIDS: A Lesson From Sri Lanka

Over the past three months, 70 new cases of HIV have been reported in Sri Lanka, representing an increase from this time last year. The National STD /AIDS Control Programme says this is an upward trend for the country; and the programme’s Director, Dr. Sisira Liyanage, has called for the government to take the crucial… Read more »

Positive Outcome At The UN!

Equal Ground Press Release Colombo, 15th October 2014: There is finally good news from the UN for the LGBTIQ community of Sri Lanka. In an unprecedented statement the Government of Sri Lanka informed the Experts Committee reviewing Sri Lanka for ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) that “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)… Read more »

Concern over rising HIV infections among youth

Colombo (IRIN) – Sri Lankan health officials have called for a greater focus on youth in the battle against HIV as they become more sexually active and the percentage of young people contracting the virus rises. “Youth and the risk of infection are two particular areas that we are paying greater attention to now,” Sisira… Read more »

Sri Lanka gays forced underground as world leaders gather for summit

Commonwealth leaders have refused to discuss LGBTI issues at their summit in Colombo and now the Sri Lankan government is cracking down on dissent Sri Lankan gay activists have been threatened and ordered to keep silent as Commonwealth leaders gather in the country. The LGBTI campaigners say they have been forced underground, reflecting a wider… Read more »

Shadow Foreign Secretary: Sri Lanka is ‘heading in the wrong direction’ on LGBT rights

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has criticised Sri Lanka’s record on LGBT rights ahead of a Commonwealth summit. Commenting on a report by the Kaleidoscope Trust, the senior Labour MP told the Press Association that the country is “heading in the wrong direction”. “Today’s report from the Kaleidoscope Trust highlights the ongoing concern about human… Read more »

Sri Lanka begins ‘systematic targeting’ of gays

Buddhist monk arrested for alleged gay pedophilia, transgender schoolboy entrapped in smear campaign After state-supported homophobic campaigns in Russia, Zimbabwe and several other African countries, the Buddhist island state of Sri Lanka has also begun a systematic crackdown on its gay community, rights activists say. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, which controls the army, law enforcement… Read more »

Sri Lanka begins ‘systematic targeting’ of gays

Buddhist monk arrested for alleged gay pedophilia, transgender schoolboy entrapped in smear campaign After state-supported homophobic campaigns in Russia, Zimbabwe and several other African countries, the Buddhist island state of Sri Lanka has also begun a systematic crackdown on its gay community, rights activists say. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, which controls the army, law enforcement… Read more »

Sri lanka gay rights group launches petition to repeal gay sex laws

Sri Lanka’s LGBT community, long struggling for acceptance, celebrate their eighth Pride Festival this week and are featured in a special issue of Sri Lanka’s Life Times in which it declared: “Life Times Sri Lanka supports the decriminalisation of private acts between consenting adults, gay or straight!” With Colombo Pride in full swing, Sri Lanka… Read more »

LT Magazine goes Gay for Colombo PRIDE 2012!

Equal Ground is proud to have collaborated with Life Times Magazine to publish Chasing Rainbows and dismissing Stereotypes”. As Radhika Philip, the Editor of Life Times says: “Why we would dedicate so much of our June publication to celebrating PRIDE comes down to this: because we can. We think its the right thing to do.… Read more »

Children of Srikandi: Indonesia’s first lesbian film

Having had its world premiere at the recent Berlin Film Festival, Children of Srikandi – the first film to document the lives of queer women in Indonesia – will likely be screened at a LGBT film festival near you this year. Fridae speaks with co-producers Laura Coppens and Angelika Levi, and co-director Yulia Dwi Andriyanti… Read more »

Codified homophobia in Sri Lanka and its oppressive side-effects

“Saman” is a graduate student in Sri Lanka who was doing research on ‘safer sex’ for his thesis. He told me that while he was working in the southern city of Galle, the local police detained and tortured him assuming he was gay. While in detention he witnessed how the Sri Lankan police discriminated against… Read more »

Sri Lankan activist Rosanna Flamer-Caldera

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera has been active in the struggle for queer rights in Sri Lanka and internationally since 1999. She was a founding member of Women’s Support Group (1999), the only organization for lesbians, bi women and trans people in Sri Lanka; and Equal Ground (2004), a mixed LGBTQ organization Source – Orinam

Gay Sri Lanka News & Reports 2008-11

1 Sri Lankan gays protest at newspaper stereotyping 2/08 2 Homosexuality in Sri Lanka Past and Present 3/08 3 Arthur C. Clarke, Premier Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 90 3/08 4 Vagrant voices 3/08 5 Asian gay, transgender groups fight for their rights 6/08 6 Colombo PRIDE 2008 concludes on a HIGH note! 7/08 7… Read more »

Gay Sri Lanka News & Reports 1995-2007

1 The founder of a gay-rights group in Sri Lanka 10/95 2 Nation’s first national gay/lesbian conference 7/96 3 Sixty Attend Sri Lankan Gay Conference 6/99 4 Sri Lanka’s Press Council attacks lesbianism 6/00 5 Sri Lanka gays mark anniversary with ball 9/00 6 Sri Lanka gays mark five years of protest in drag 9/00… Read more »

Buddhism and Homosexuality

Buddhism and Homosexuality 1 Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism 2003 2 Will gay marriage be allowed by Buddhists in Thailand? 7/05 3 Homosexuality, Buddhism and Sri Lankan Society 8/07 1 Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism 2003 by A. L. De Silva Buddhism teaches to, and expects from, its followers a certain level of ethical behaviour. The minimum… Read more »