by Nadira GUNATILAKE
Violence against women and male chauvinism
There is one subject that haunts the female community no matter how
hard we try to forget it or eliminate it. It comes to the limelight time
to time sending shock waves all over Sri Lankan female community.
When we watch and read these cases over media we feel how unfortunate
we are to see and hear it in a regular basis. I am referring to the
murder of a young female Bank Executive of Ja-Ela.
Violence against women, is an issue that becomes the favourite topic
of certain organisations all the time and a good news/feature for media
despite being the pathetic plight of Sri Lankan women community. It
seems violence against women has emerged to linger forever however hard
we try to eradicate it.
The female bank executive from Ja-Ela was not the first or last
innocent woman murdered by blood thirsty two legged beasts in human
First it was an innocent pretty undergraduate from the Kelaniya
University and then an innocent school girl from Kiriella. Now this Bank
Executive from Ja-Ela. These are the innocent girls killed in the recent
It is very disappointing to see even some writers/reporters
sympathise with the killer who is still alive and doing fine. It is very
funny to see how some feature writers elaborate the `sad story’ of the
killer who says the girl slapped him and hit him on the face with her
shoe before he killed her.
The girl is no more there to say whether she did it or not. The
killer can create any big lie to win the sympathy. The writers turn a
blind eye to the fact that the killer was not an innocent lover but a
womaniser who had many illicit affairs.
I wonder whether these writers will write the story in the same way
if it happened to one of their sisters or daughters. As usual they blame
the police for everything as they end their ‘colourful story’.
It seems innocent girls are going to be killed regularly no matter
whatever step is taken by the authorities to stop such crimes.
The most unfortunate thing is the society, policy makers and law
enforcement authorities considering such incidents as
‘personal/isolated’ and not paying adequate attention to prevent similar
crimes taking place in the future. Raising awareness is only way out for
When you look at the latest incident you may see it as a result of a
personal problem or a dispute between two individuals. But it is not.
The same thing may happen to you, your own sister/daughter/friend the
next day. Only then will you see the gravity of it but then it will be
There is no argument about the punishment that should be given to
these type of murderers. It should be death penalty and nothing less
than that. The demand of the public for death penalty grow stronger and
louder with this type of incidents.
Their latest demand is death penalty (at least) against criminals who
commit crimes against women and children. Unfortunately the support
extended by other relevant parties to Child Development and Women’s
Empowerment Minister to bring relevant legislations is not satisfactory
It seems most of them are interested in protecting the human rights
of criminals than protecting the human rights of crime victims or focus
on certain advantages of being in the protesting sides.
It is impossible to expect everything from the Police. Personal
security is something very important for present day Sri Lankan women
because violence against women is rapidly escalating.
Better to be ready to face a crisis. Nothing needs to be spent to
have a plan ready in advance. Some experts may identify this as
`negative thinking or being pessimistic’ but they won’t be there to
rescue women from killers.
A woman cannot expect the police to protect her from a future crime
which is not visible. Most of the responsibilities lie with her when it
comes to personal safety. She should be intelligent enough to deny.
She should inform the parents/guardians of both parties as soon as
possible, taking precautionary actions, stick to ‘Out of sight - out of
mind’ concept if possible. She should not waste her valuable time to
figure out whether the person is a lunatic or not.
Male chauvinism is another major factor which contributes towards
crimes. Males who are brainwashed by male chauvinism believe that a
female is his property and he can do whatever he wishes with it. Males
who promote this encourage other ordinary males to commit crimes
especially when it comes to rejection.
This is common in rural areas than urban areas. The existing laws and
punishments are not adequate at all to change this mindset of males.
Under these conditions we can expect more similar brutal murders in