However, there were some seriously shameful posts and articles being made about how the North was simply causing a scene about nothing.
Look at this poem by Shamila Daluwatte, Attorney-at-Law, that went viral after Vidhya was killed at the hands of her rapists. The point of the matter is that regardless of whether the victim was wearing jewellery, a short skirt, or an abaya…
“First they raped Manamperi And buried her body alive I did not speak Because there was an insurrection Then they came for women in Kahawatte I did not speak Because I was not from Kahawatte Then they came for women in Nuriwatte I did not speak Because I did not live in Nuriwatta Then, they came for Women in the North I did not speak, because Krishanthi Kumaraswami, koneshwari, Isaipriya They were not my sisters Then they came for women with a different skin colour Eight men gang-raped Victoria Alexandra I did not speak Because she was just a foreigner Then they gruesomely gang-raped Rita John Stabbed her body fifteen times Left her murdered body on the Modera beach I did not speak Because she was an Indian She was asking for trouble By walking on the beach with her jewelries in the evening Then they gang raped a woman in Wijerama I did not speak Because she was just a prostitute Then they raped hundreds of virgins And celebrated with champagne in Akurassa and Monaragala I did not speak Because too scared of politicians Then they raped Logarani Threw her naked body into a sacred temple Then they gang raped Saranya Selvarasa I did not speak Finally they raped Vithiya Sivaloganadan I did not speak Because she is Tamil She lived on a small Island in Punguduthevu” This poem brings to light the hypocrisy of Sri Lanka, and how we choose when to stand up and speak up. regardless of whether the victim was a virgin, a prostitute, someone who had sex before marriage, or not at all, a victim is not to be blamed for rape, which is an illegal and heinous crime.
These concepts are completely foreign to the average Sri Lankan who resorts instead to pornography to learn about sex.
Are we really surprised that in this kind of environment, the attitude that women are to be blamed for rape still finds a voice?
While Vidhya and Jyoti’s cases provided a much need start to these conversations, we need to ensure that these conversations and reforms are not restricted and inhibited by the outdated and victim blaming culture promoted by articles such as Mr. Fazl goes on to justify his article in his comments section, by citing Saudi Arabia as a great example of a place where putting women in their place led to lower rape statistics, and by claiming that he was not blaming all women for rape- just the victims).
Fazl’s article on “Are Women to be Blamed for Rape? We need to work together to educate and understand. But there is a lot more work to be done in the name of those victims that India and Sri Lanka are not ready to call their daughters.It shows how we have as a society almost made it okay to not speak up against the rape case of a prostitute, “because she was just a prostitute.” It shows how we have as a society almost made it okay to stay silent over the rape of Rita John, because “She was asking for trouble…. Blaming it on the victim almost seems like making male entitlement acceptable and assuming that males are unable to control their sexual urges, leaving women to the obvious choice of hoping that their actions don’t tempt them.It teaches women to view their bodies as something to be ashamed of and something that is simply sexual.Instead, what we need is to rethink our sex education.Rethink the psychology that we promote, because according to this study, 66% of Sri Lankan men who perpetrated rape against women admitted that their motivation for rape was sexual entitlement, and only 34.2% of these respondents felt any remorse for their actions.She was a student in school uniform, and was abducted and raped on her way to school.