HRCSL raises issue | Daily News
Access denial to women to premises based on attire

HRCSL raises issue

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), in a series of letters to public authorities, University Grants Commission, Chamber of Commerce and Judicial Service Commission, raised its concerns over rising complaints of wrongful refusal of entry to women to public and private premises and buildings due to their attire.

HRCSL Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama last week issued letters to the Public Administration Ministry, Health Ministry, Immigration and Emigration Department, all Governors of Provincial Councils, all Chief Secretaries of Provincial Councils, all Secretaries of Provincial Health Ministries and all District Secretaries calling for non-discrimination in enforcing security measures.

“The HRCSL has received several complaints from women that they were prevented from entering public premises and public buildings in the last two weeks. We are extremely concerned to receive these complaints and write to appeal to you to ensure that no one is denied entry to public spaces unless they contravene the law.

In some instances, our concern is greater because we hear this wrongful refusal of entry lead to these women being denied essential services,” Dr Udagama said.

The letters stressed the fact that that head covering of ‘Burqa’ and ‘Niqab’ of Muslim women and ‘full face’, ‘modular’ and ‘off-road’ helmets have been banned, whereas ‘Chadors’ and ‘Hijabs’ worn by Muslim women and ‘half’, ‘open face’ and ‘Dual-Sport’ helmets have not been banned.

The HRCSL said that it is concerned to hear that many women who were attired in a manner that conforms to the said prohibition were prevented from entering private institutions, commercial enterprises, court premises, court houses, public premises and public buildings.

“We urge you to remind your members that each of us bears the responsibility to act in a manner that guarantees unity and harmony rather than enhancing differences. So, we appeal to you to take immediate steps to urge your members to ensure that all persons who conform to the prohibition contained in Regulation 32A are granted access to institutions under your purview,” the Chairperson further said in her letters.The HRCSL has also written to University Grants Commission Chairman Prof. Mohan De Silva requesting to ensure that implementation of security measures do not discriminate against a particular community.

“Our Commission is of the opinion that it is essential that an environment is created in all institutions, particularly in educational institutions that mould young minds, that respects pluralism and equal citizenship. There has to be a recognition that one community cannot be targetted for what a few who claim to be from that community have done, however heinous those acts may be. We kindly urge you, therefore, to direct all public universities and institutions of higher education coming within your purview, to take necessary action in that regard.

It is important that education is imparted in an environment that respects the principles of non-discrimination, pluralism and free flow of thoughts and ideas,” Dr Udagama said in her letter to the UGC.

****************************************

HRCSL concerned over complaints of women - (13:11)

refused entry to public and private premises due to their attire

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, in a series of letters to public authorities, University Grants Commission, Chamber of Commerce and Judicial Service Commission, raised its concerns over rising complaints of wrongful refusal of entry to women to public and private premises and buildings due to their attire.

HRCSL Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama last week issued letters to Public Administration Ministry, Health Ministry, Immigration and Emigration Department, all Governors of Provincial Councils, all Chief Secretaries of Provincial Councils, all Secretaries of Provincial Health Ministries and all District Secretaries calling for non-discrimination in enforcing security measures.

“The HRCSL has received several complaints from women that they were prevented from entering public premises and public buildings in the last two weeks. We are extremely concerned to receive these complaints and write to appeal to you to ensure that no one is denied entry to public spaces unless they contravene the law. In some instances, our concern is greater because we hear this wrongful refusal of entry lead to these women being denied essential services, Dr Udagama said.

The letters stressed the fact that that head covering of ‘Burqa’ and ‘Niqab’ of Muslim women and ‘full face’, ‘modular’ and ‘off-road’ helmets have been banned, where as ‘Chadors’ and ‘Hijabs’ worn by Muslim women and ‘half’, ‘open face’ and ‘Dual-Sport’ helmets have not been banned.

The HRCSL said that it is concerned to hear that many women who were attired in a manner that conforms to the said prohibition were prevented from entering private institutions, commercial enterprises, court premises, courthouses, public premises and public buildings.


 

Add new comment