HRCSL writes to Justice Minister urging decriminalisation of same-sex conduct
By: Editor (LGBTIQ)
Colombo (LNW): The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has submitted recommendations to the Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse to repeal / amend sections 365 and 365A of the Penal Code of Sri Lanka which by many law enforcement bodies have interpreted to be criminalising consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults.
In a letter addressed to the Minister dated November 23, 2023, the HRCSL stated in terms of section 10(d) of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act, No. 21 of 1996 with reference to sections 365 and 365A of the Penal Code (Chapter 19), adding “Section 10(d) of the Act mandates the Commission ‘to make recommendations to the Government regarding measures which should be taken to ensure that national laws…are in accordance with international human rights norms and standards’.”
With reference to the private member’s bill proposing the decriminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual activities between adults tabled by Ruling Party MP Premnath Dolawatte and approved by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, the Commission recommended that the Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Ministry consider supporting the enactment of the said Bill adopting the said Bill as a government proposal to ensure its expeditious passage.