Home » Uncategorized » Sri Lanka’s LGBTIQ Equality Stalemate & Victorian Hangovers: Reflections On A Decolonizing Approach To Sexual And Gender Justice

Sri Lanka’s LGBTIQ Equality Stalemate & Victorian Hangovers: Reflections On A Decolonizing Approach To Sexual And Gender Justice

The week of the 16th of January 2017 carried bad news for Sri Lanka’s LGBTIQ community. At the weekly meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, a number of ministers had vehemently opposed the abrogation of Articles 365 and 365A of the Penal Code. This also implies vehement opposition to the inclusion of a constitutional clause on equality to all Sri Lankan citizens, irrespective of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. In other words, this cabinet decision, reached by a cabinet of ministers that describes itself as advocates of ‘yahapalanaya’ (good governance) does not recognize the fundamental rights of Sri Lankan citizens who are not heterosexual in terms of their sexual orientation. Although regulations have been slightly altered with regards to the tedious process of ‘correcting’ the civil service documentation of Transgender citizens, this cabinet decision also amounts to a rejection of Transgender (and indeed other gender-plural) Sri Lankan citizens, as it clearly hints at a reluctance at the highest levels of government to ensure the fundamental rights of citizens irrespective of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In other words, the government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and its President, whose election was described as the dawn of an era of good governance, does not recognize non-heterosexual and non-cis-hetero-normative Sri Lankans. Despite the tremendous contributions they make to society home and abroad, the highest levels of government have concluded that LGBTIQ people, due to their sexual orientation and gender identity, as a second, if not third class, pariah category. This writer, for instance, a Sri Lankan citizen and a multilingual Trans woman with a Franco-British education plus an International Politics PhD, is, to go by the cabinet decision… [Read more at Colombo Telegraph).


This year marks the 30th anniversary of the brutal murder of Pat Finucane, a brave #lawyer who stood for people unduly subjected to harassment by the #British state. The #Finucane murder was one of the most violent incidents during the conflict in #Ulster. Pat was murdered in his own house, right in front of Mrs Finucane and their young children. The Finucane family has since been fighting tirelessly for justice and the truth, and I have great respect and admiration for Mrs Finucane, for her courage and tremendous resolve over all these challenging years. Lots of truths were spoken at today’s event, where John Finucane and @sinn_fein ‘s #GerryAdams spoke. The route to truth and justice is a long one, especially when dealing with a very highly influential government, one of the most powerful in the world. The sense of commitment was very palpable in the packed audience today. I am also writing this post in solidarity with the many people who have been murdered, incarcerated without trial and subjected to many forms of violence, for standing up for their communities and principles, including in my own island home #lka. This is an endemic problem in many countries across the world. Let the #RuleOfLaw, #accountability, #transparence and #justice prevail, at all times. #solidarity #PatFinucane #justice #truth #feileanphobail #hero #decolonialjustice #standforJustice #lka #belfast #Ireland
Photo: snapshot from Queen Elizabeth’s royal visit to Sri Lanka in October 1981. Sharing this photo together with an article I wrote to mark the 71the year of Sri Lanka gaining #dominionstatus, published in today’s edition of the #ColomboTelegraph. The article focuses on the necessity of #decolonial & #intersectional #feminist political discourses in the Sri Lankan context, especially when it comes to protecting our heritage, challenging colonially-shaped mindsets and in entrenching a well and truly Sri Lankan brand of critical queer politics.This piece also includes references to the very important work by scholar-activists such as @jade.chovino , #JoãoGabriel, & @senel_w. Any form critical #decolonial work is not easy and in the global South, there is a need to create our own knowledges, approaches and épistémologies when we think of decolonial and intersectional feminist imperatives. Link to the article: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/thoughts-on-decolonising-lanka-from-servility-to-dignity/ *****I am sharing this photo here because it is a prime example of how white colonial privilege works. The Queen here is walking, flanked by the then President of Sri Lanka J R Jayawardene, on the ‘uda maluwa’, or the upper level of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in #Anuradhapura. Patriarchal dictates in the brand of #Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka are such that women, including #Bhikkunis are not allowed in this area - a restriction that visibly does not seem to apply to the British monarch. This, if anything, is highly suggestive of the disturbing realities of gender politics, injustices and inequalities in the #neocolony. #lka #independenceday #politics #SouthAsia #British #Monarchy #queenelizabeth #jrjayawardene #decolonise #dismantlethepatriarchy photo credits: #Alamy
[Repost, from @alowijesinghe]. A new generation of queer writers and activists is already active and slaying in Sri Lanka🇱🇰🏳️‍🌈. When the President of Sri Lanka comes on stage at a public rally to engage in a blatantly and shamelessly homophobic rant, Sri Lankan queer people won’t remain silent. This is an excellent example of such resistance, by my dear friend @alowijesinghe It was an absolute honour to help out with edits etc. and I’d highly recommend this piece to anyone interested in SOGIESC advocacy and resistance to cis-heteronormative #politics in the global South, outside the ngo-industrial complex, by deeply committed queer people, especially youth. #alokawijesinghe #lka #coupLK #aiyosirisena #srilanka #srilanka🇱🇰 #queerliberation #lesbian #queerwomen #srilankanqueer #writing #colombotelegraph
Word. #NayyirahWaheed #blackgirlmagic #blackfeminism #poetry
It is not only in #Brazil that hell is breaking lose. #Fascism and a drift to a #dynastic #dictatorship is also happening in #SriLanka right now. In such trying times, it is very important to take a clear, bold and no-nonsense stand against fascists, as highlighted in this latest political commentary signée Yours Truly, calling for robust resistance against Sri Lanka’s drift to a #bolsonaro moment. #lka #democracy #constitutionalism #couplk #lkpoliticalcrisis #rights #ruleoflaw #genderjustice
Commentary on the current political crisis in #SriLanka🇱🇰. Neoliberal politics in the global south are bound to end up in disaster if political agendas are not custom-made to correspond to the specifics of local contexts. Things risk getting worse. The political analysis put aside, I am concerned for my #SriLankan #intersectional #feminist #queer fam 🇱🇰🏳️‍🌈& for all #ethnicminorities. Tough times ahead. #lka #politicalcrisis #politics #womeninpolitics #genderjustice #powergrab #colombotelegraph #queerliberation #miexistiresresistir✊🏾

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