pasan Profile picture
Aug 6 10 tweets 4 min read
1/ 🧵on the @RW_UNP govt's horrific and deeply cynical use of Emergency Regulations (ERs) to further victimise LGBTQI+ Sri Lankans. #lka #FascistRanil
2/ The ERs of 18/07/2022 (No.2289/07) contain Penal Code ss 365 & 365A among offences for which Police & Military are granted sweeping powers of search, arrest & detention (Reg 11) + whose penalties are increased to life imprisonment or 20 yrs [vs 10 yrs max ordinarily] (Reg 12).
3/ ss 365 & 365A broadly criminalise same-sex sexual activity through the vague concepts of "intercourse against the order of nature" & "gross indecency". They have been used for over a century to persecute LGBTQI+ persons & subject them to discrimination & violence.
4/ RW's ERs carry over the provisions on ss 365 & 365A from the ERs gazetted by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 06/05/2022 (No. 2278/23) but make them even worse by increasing the period a person can be detained before being produced before a magistrate from 24 to 72 hrs (3 days!).
5/ These ERs have entrenched and intensified the severe discrimination faced by LGBTQI+ Sri Lankans. The ERs' effect on LGBTQI+ persons in three months of operation has & can not really be quantified bc of just how much ss 365 & 365A are used to harass & violate extra judicially.
6/ They are also hard not to read as an explicit threat to a community that has appeared as a vocal, visible part of the aragalaya. Criminality is a powerful deterrent to mobilising, esp for marginalised communities, as RW's ongoing witchhunt demonstrates.
7/ Yesterday (05/08/2022), RW issued a bizarre, self-serving statement about working with aragalaya protesters to now combat the 'economic aragalaya'. In it, he says he has informed the Attorney-General to remove the 'problematic situation' concerning the LGBT community.
8/ If this means removing ss 365 & 365A from the ERs, then it's an insulting sop. The problem is the ERs wholesale (& not their components per se) in that they stifle public life & democratic action wholly unnecessarily. Removing ss 365 & 365A then is just... inclusive fascism.
9/ No doubt the homocapitalists (& the homonationalists they're now uneasily in bed with, oop) will laud this as some progressive coup, if only as validation for firing up the UNP gay hotline these last few days. RW himself will probably use this to titillate Western diplomats.
10/10 But no mistake should be made about just how little RW, or the #lka state, cares about LGBTQI+ Sri Lankans; how they're made collateral in games of petty, fascist state power; & how any actual struggle for queer liberation must swerve & reject such dangerous, sad politics.

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More from @pasanghe

May 6, 2021
🧵1/ A thread on the standardisation policies for university admissions implemented by the government of Sri Lanka in the 1970s. Always relevant for current discussions about access to education in #lka, and about the ethnic conflict more broadly.
2/ In post-independence Sri Lanka there were enormous changes in education. The Sinhala Only Act of 1956 and the Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act of 1958 changed the medium of instruction in secondary schools from English to Sinhala and Tamil.
3/ This more than tripled secondary school enrolment, as a huge number of students from non-elite backgrounds who didn’t speak English were now able to study at secondary schools in their first language.
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