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Feb 16, 2017

Tamil women are still harassed sexually - Chandrika Featured

The war-affected Tamil women are now subjected to sexual harassment by men from their own community and military and other public officers, says chairperson of the reconciliation secretariat, ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga.

There are women, who became widowed due to the 37 year conflict, among those who had to give sexual bribes to get their letters signed and other work done by officials, she said.

These officials include Tamils and from the lowest level of officialdom such as Grama Seva officers, she told foreign journalists, adding that certain members of the military too, were making use of these women sexually.

Psychological counseling

Victims of sexual abuse should receive psychological counselling, but the relevant state institutions are without qualified personnel to give that help, said the reconciliation secretariat head.

Counselors cannot be imported due to the language barrier, she said, adding that the best way to minimize these women’s exposure to such harassment is by making their livelihoods more effective.

Taking military and other state officials to courts over sexual crimes is very rare, an exceptional case being four soldiers sent to prison for 25 years for raping a young mother in 2010, BBC Sandeshaya reports.

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