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Women and Children in the North Sexual Harassment, Grievances and Challenges

Women and Children in the North Sexual Harassment, Grievances and Challenges

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Published by Thavam

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Published by: Thavam on Oct 31, 2013
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10/31/2013

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! on "#$%"$&#"% 'n Se(tember &#"%, Watchdog travelled to the )anni*"+ and met ith survivors o- sexual violence, omen.s rights activists and re(resentatives o- omen.s grou(s/ This re(ort is based on in-ormation (rovided during intervies conducted ith them, Human 0ights organisations based in the North and Colombo and overnment sources/ During our interactions ith these grou(s, e learnt o- a disturbing trend o- minors being sub1ect to sexual violence over the last several months/ 'n addition, e also s(o2e to ar idos, single omen and -ormer -emale combatants ho continue to -ace harassment and abuse at the hands o- the military and -rom their on community/
 
'n December &#"", more than to years a-ter the end o- the armed con-lict in Sri 3an2a, the 'nternational Crisis rou( 4'C5 (ublished a re(ort titled 6Sri 3an2a: Women.s 'nsecurity in the North and 7ast*&+/ The re(ort detailed the (light o- omen in the )anni region! sexual violence, tra--ic2ing and ex(loitation o- young omen, struggles o- -emale! headed households to rebuild their livelihoods, the climate o- -ear and intimidation omen live in, the lac2 o- (sychosocial care -or survivors o- sexual violence and the culture o- im(unity (revalent in the region/ Nearly to years on, the issues highlighted in the 'C re(ort remain mostly unaddressed by the overnment and its agencies and, by all accounts, a((ear to have orsened/ 8urther, the systematic re(ression o- omen.s rights and the callous disregard -or their security also continues to remain under!re(orted by mainstream media in the South o- Sri 3an2a/
Sexual violence against minors
A disturbing trend in cases o- sexual violence
 is the targeting o- minors/ 'n 9ilinochchi and )avuniya, beteen anuary and Se(tembder &#"% alone, e learnt o- -our cases o- ;!< year old girls being ra(ed by either the military or men -rom the community, highlighting the level o- im(unity in the community and the hel(lessness and o((ression o- omen and children living in the North/'n =ay &#"%, a ; year! old girl child in Nedun2erny, )avuniya as ra(ed*>+hile on her ay bac2 -rom school/ The child as (unched, her ear and mouth bitten, and blood dri((ing don her thighs hen villagers -ound her/ The man ta2en into custody as a soldier attached to the Army cam( in 9ana2arayan2ulam, )avuniya/ The (olice had in-ormed the child.s mother and villagers that the soldier had been involved in a ?similar incident. (reviously and nes re(orts indicate that the soldier had been released on bail in the earlier case*@+/While military (ersonnel and those attached to the security a((aratus are
 
largely shielded -rom conviction or (rosecution -or crimes committed by them, civilian (er(etrators too a((ear to be emboldened by the climate o- im(unity in the region/ 'n Se(tember &#"%, a ; year old girl in 9onavil, 9ilinochchi as ra(ed by her neighbour, hilst another ; year old in  ayanthinagar, 9ilinochchi as ra(ed by her brother!in!la/ The girl had been admitted to the 9ilinochchi Hos(ital/ According to local activists, the (er(etrators in both cases, ere bailed out in a matter o- months, and continue to live among the survivors/ 8urther, local activists told us that as many in these communities are also -luent in s(o2en Sinhala, they are able to tal2 their ay out o- any serious (unishment -rom la en-orcement authorities/'n &#"&, an <!year!old as allegedly gang!ra(ed by a grou( o- -our men in Aanaivilundhaan 49ilinochchi District5/ 'n this case too, the (er(etrators managed to evade serious re(ercussion as the (olice ere (aid o-- to reduce the seriousness o- the charges/ The girl as later admitted to a hostel, here she still resides/ The ra(ists are all -ree no and no -urther (rogress has been made in this case/'n =arch &#"&, a "% year old girl -rom Del-t 4a--na District5 as ra(ed and 2illed by a -ormer 7D*B+ cadre*;+/ The accused is still in remand/ On && October &#"%, a
Virakesari
re(ort detailed the story o- a child ho as sexually abused by a mon2 at a Children.s Home in )avuniya/ The child, a male, ho as < hen he as admitted to the Sethsevana Children.s Home in Attambas2anda, )avuniya in &#"", had revealed that he as abused by Attambas2anda 9alyanatissa Thero hile -our others ould restrain him/ A-ter being re-used visits to her son on a number o- occasions, the child.s mother had com(lained to overnment o--icials and the olice a-ter hich the child had been alloed to leave ith the mother in December &#"&/ Com(laining o- (ain during urination, he as admitted to )avuniya Hos(ital here it as revealed that he had been extensively abused/ The mother in her statement says that the mon2 had berated her

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