Police harassment of sex workers must only put greater burdens on the lives of men and women forced into the trade, mostly because of a lack of alternative employment or a social security network.
Sharmila Seyyid The topic naturally brings to mind journalist .) Sharmila’s call has led to a local Taliban element taking it upon themselves to “punish” her and her family, the usual reaction of men in patriarchal societies who hold fast to the view that their power over a woman’s body should never be challenged.
We must recognise that Islam is one of the world’s great religions and it is unfortunate that a few extremist give it a bad name by interpreting sacred text to suit their own twisted agendas.
These and other areas of dangerous and violent criminality bear little comparison with someone providing sexual services, at most a benign trade.
In addition, sexual crime is bound to increase exponentially if brothels were to be eliminated.
That reasoning should go for the thousands of child-burdened war widows, especially in the north and east, who have suddenly become breadwinners without education or employable skills.
If their lives are to be turned around, those women must be provided with education and skills.
Otherwise, the Taliban disease may expand here too and give rise to a plague of self-styled and scheming pseudo imams who victimise innocent citizen under the guise of protecting Islam.
We do not want such loathsome instances, as has happened in Pakistan, where a young girl, Rimsha Masih, was arrested for allegedly desecrating pages of the Quran, a charge punishable by death in that country, and subsequently the man who had brought about the charge, imam, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, being arrested for desecrating the Quran himself and planting the pages in Rimsha’s bag.
In this regard, it would be naive to promote tourism and think that single male and female visitors spend their dollars on merely experiencing beaches, landscapes and archaeological artefacts.
The reality is that after dark they seek out physical excitement and fulfilment in bars, pubs and clubs, such as they would normally do at home.
It’s time for Sri Lanka to decriminalize sex work or validate it in some manner in order to manage what is a decades-old reality.