Sri Lanka president slammed for ‘insidious homophobic comments’
The President of Sri Lanka is under fire from the country’s LGBT+ community, after he made remarks that have been deemed homophobic.
Sri Lanka leader Maithripala Sirisena has come under fire for the comments he made at a rally on Monday (November 5).
Sirisena, who recently led a plot to oust the country’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, attacked the PM in a speech.
The president accused Wickremesinghe of rejecting national values for a “butterfly life,” and claimed that his decisions were led by a “butterfly caucus.”
The Sinhala-language phrase used by the leader, “samanala rela,” was described by Sri Lankan LGBT+ group Equal Ground as a “derogatory term alluding to minority sexual orientations.”
LGBT+ campaigners staged a protest in Colombo in the wake of the comments embracing the pejorative label, carrying signs that read “butterfly power” and “butterfly votes count.”
“The world can be changed, not by violence, but by the sound of a thousand butterfly wings rising for peace, justice and respect.”
Rosanna Flamer-Caldera of Equal Ground has described the leader as “pathetic,” and hit out at the president’s “insidious references degrading the LGBTIQ community.”
LGBT+ groups in the region joined together to issue a statement as the “Butterflies for Democracy” coalition.
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