SJB MPs protest against “Violence Against Women” | Daily News

SJB MPs protest against “Violence Against Women”

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarians staged a silent protest in Parliament yesterday (25) against the harassment of women in Sri Lanka.

All SJB MPs wore badges printed that said “Stop Violence Against Women!”

SJB MP Rohini Kumari Wijeratne expressed regret that despite a male MP verbally abusing her in Parliament  recently, no action was taken to reprimand that MP and he got away with just a warning.

“If Women in Parliament are being subject to such abuse, one can only imagine what women in rural and other areas of the country have to endure.”

Posing a supplementary question to Education Reforms, Open Universities and Distance Learning Promotion State Minister Susil Premajayantha during the question round in Parliament yesterday, she asked what sort of measures the government has taken under reforms to the education sector, to educate male children on respecting and treating women in a manner that they would treat their own mothers or sisters. She said that had such measures been taken much earlier to educate male children on how they should treat women with respect and equality, then such incidents would not have taken place. “Then, even MP Tissakuttiarachchi would have been penalised for his actions by the Speaker,” she said.

MP Rohini Kumari Wijeratne said that one in five women in Sri Lanka suffers some form of abuse. “In the recent incident that took place in Parliament a few days ago where MP Tissakuttiarachchi got away with just a warning and no punishment for his abusive conduct, this is the same thing that happens elsewhere in the country too. The perpetrators get away with a mere warning and the victims continue to suffer the consequences.

State Minister Premajayantha said that Sri Lanka is bound to implement the 17 sustainable development goals set out by the UN, including poverty alleviation, food security, health, quality education, gender equality. “In terms of educational reforms, Sri Lanka has a high standard of content development, but we have an issue with skills development. In terms of attitudes, we as a country used to be at a very good level in the past, but, now with the COVID pandemic many people suffer stress and depression. I am sure even parliamentarians could have such issues too.”

He said that it has been revealed that 20% of children suffer from some form of mental health issues. “Hence, it would be surprising if adults don’t have such issues,” he added.

However, he said that at the school level students are trained to be mindful in everything they do as part of attitude changes being implemented at the school level.

Day three of the Committee Stage debate of the 2022 Budget was held in Parliament yesterday.

Expenditure heads of Ministries of Foreign and Mass Media were taken up for debate.

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