According to the prevailing law, the culprits can be punished and jailed for five years, but no one has been jailed up to five years due to practical difficulties. In a stunning revelation it has been found that 70% of females between 15 and 45 have been subjected to sexual harassment in public transport and the situation would worsen if all Sri Lankans do not take serious note of the issue.
Legal Aid Commission (LAC) Chairman S. S. Wijeratne made this revelation based on a survey conducted by the LAC while addressing the White Ribbon campaign at Bastian Mawatha in Colombo aimed at ending sexual harassment in public transport.
“According to the prevailing law, the culprits can be punished and jailed for five years, but no one has been jailed up to five years due to practical difficulties,” the Chairman said. Contd. page 1
He said as Sri Lankans we should all take up the matter seriously as the situation would worsen further bringing disrepute to the country as well.
Mr. Wijeratne said women who are victimized in public transport were reluctant
from to complain the matter to bus conductors, bus driver or the police. “Bus drivers and conductors alone cannot stop this menace, and male commuters indulging in such shameful acts should realize the gravity themselves. Bus drivers and conductors were reluctant to give evidence against the culprits in Courts as it would deprive them of their daily income. ”
He said the LAC with the participation of the Road Passenger Transport Authority have allocated two weeks from last Friday to create awareness among the public to deter sexual harassment in public transport.
Retired Supreme Court judge Nissanka Udalagama and representatives of the Western Province Road Passenger Transport Authority also participated at this occasion.