Published in colombogazette.com on Oct. 22::
A local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transexual and Intersexed (LGBTI) group has welcomed a statement made by Sri Lanka acknowledging the non-discrimination provisions in its constitution protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, gaynz.com reported.
The statement came in responses from the Sri Lankan Government to recommendations for reform during the country’s review by the UN Human Rights Committee.
Executive Director of Sri Lankan lgbti group Equal Ground, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, says it’s a positive outcome which takes the sting out of anti-gay laws in the country’s Penal Code.
“This is the first time that the Government has made statements of this sort and we will be sure to follow up with them at the first opportunity.”
Equal Ground worked with Kaleidoscope Australia, a group committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of lgbti people in the Asia Pacific region, on a shadow report on lgbti rights which was submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee.
“We congratulate the Sri Lankan Government for acknowledging that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is unconstitutional,” Kaleidoscope Australia President Dr Paula Gerber says.
“While it is disappointing that the Sri Lankan Government did not address the ongoing criminalisation of homosexual conduct (both men and women), the official response nevertheless marks a significant change in tone, which will hopefully in turn lead to further reform.”