Sri Lankan newspaper calls for action against homosexuality

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A local Sri Lankan newspaper, Divaina last week published a feature about homosexuality and effeminate men in Sri Lanka and the problems they face as they get older.

The article goes on to make claims about the number of homosexuals in Sri Lanka who become involved in commercial sex work to make a living.

The Sinhala newspaper is a sister title of the English-language newspaper The Island.

Equal Ground, a LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning) organisation in Sri Lanka have translated the original article into English and published it on their blog at equal-ground.org.

Equal Ground say that the writer, Mithra Sri Karunanayake, makes accusations against the Gay organisations operating in Sri Lanka and the gay community in general, and even calls for action against homosexuality throughout the country.

The writer says that instead of being against homosexuality in Sri Lanka, there are several organisations and societies in Sri Lanka who are working to promote it. However, two of the organisations he names, IGLU and ILGI, do not actually seem to exist.

According to the translation, Mithra Sri Karunanayake argues that:

“These organizations are strongly working in towns and are organizing parties in five star hotels and clubs to expand homosexuality in our country.

“Foreign funds are flowing to these organizations to expand and improve homosexuality in Sri Lanka.

” Behind the guise of World AIDS day some people have worked to improve homosexuality. They have given condoms to people and they are working to protect Homosexual rights.

“The organisations are Companions on a Journey, International lesbian and Gays Institute (ILGI) and International Gays and Lesbians Union. (IGLU).

“These NGO’s are working only to expand homosexuality around the world.

“As a Buddhist country, we have to think whether these things are suitable for our country.

“We can’t expect a solution from Christians who are protesting to get permission to getting married in the churches.

“The Bible says having sex with a man like a women is a very bad sin; unfortunately, they are still unable to understand this.

“We have to take action immediately like in Hebrew history where two cities Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because this is where homosexuals live.”

Homosexual acts between men, regardless of age, are prohibited in Sri Lanka, with a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.

The law is not enforced and there have been no prosecutions for 50 years but in a largely Buddhist country homosexuality is seen as a sin.

In 1996 the Sri Lankan gay group “Companions On A Journey” was established. During it’s six-year existence it has faced assaults on its founders, death threats and attacks on its headquarters.

There is homophobia is still rife in Sri Lanka, for example, the Sri Lankan Press Council ruled in favour of a paper that published a letter saying convicted rapists should be let loose amongst a lesbian conference to give them “a taste of the real thing”.

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