In all my 30 some years of professional life I have refrained from talking about gender issues because there are enough problems that affect us all, but my life in Sri Lanka in the past four years (after a long spell away), compels me to join the sisters and make some noise.

I have to thank Mr. Bandula Padmakumara, for his insensensitivity in this particular instance, for opening my eyes to the ugly reality of women’s status in Sri Lanka.

I start my day with his show ‘Mul Pituwa’ a summary of local news papers. Last week I could not believe my ears when he picked what he called a ‘kadima katoonayak”or a ‘fine cartoon’ showing the JVP and JHU fellows in women’s clothes. According to Mr. Padmakumara’s interpetation, very apologetically put but stated nevertheless, the cartoon shows their ‘chapala’ nature (or tendency, say, to promise your heart to one and give it to another). This was on International Women’s Day which apparently made our cartoonist and the commentator talk about women. Mr. Padmakumara and Mr. Cartoonist, if you want to talk about ‘chapala’, stay in the political arena and leave the women alone. If you want to talk about women there is plenty beginning with my next post.

Advertisements