If the EU wants Sri Lanka to decriminalize homosexuality in order for the country to regain the GSP plus export concession, there is no point in opposing it now after allowing that right to exist all this while, he has told the media.
State minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said an EU proposal in this regard had been scrapped on the advice of president Maithripala Sirisena.
Karunaratne said he could not understand the reason for the president’s decision, but stressed that that opposition was coming from the SLFP.
This has now become a clash between the SLFP and the UNP, he said, due to a spreading of falsehoods on Buddhism’s teachings on sex, by a gang of so-called ‘big pundits’ allied with the SLFP.
A creation of unnecessary problems
This is a creation of unnecessary problems for the country, he said, adding that Sri Lanka should continue to tolerate sexual relationships among adults as it has been doing so until now.
He noted that not only homosexuality, but also heterosexuality are not allowed openly in Sri Lanka, adding that there is nothing to prevent two adults from having any sort of sexual relationship.
Karunaratne said that another example of Sri Lanka’s tolerance of homosexuality was that the country has not yet taken court action against homosexuals.
The government has no reason to ratify the charter not to criminalize homosexuality and to recognize it as a human right, he added.
Meanwhile, reports reaching Sri Lanka Mirror say it was JHU’s Patali Champika Ranawaka and SLFP’s Susil Premajayantha who had strongly objected when acting minister Harsha de Silva tabled the national action plan for the protection and promotion of human rights 2017-2021 in relation to obtaining the GSP+ export concession from the EU.
It however does not call for legalizing same-sex relationships, but only proposes to abolish the British-imposed ‘Victorian era’ repressive laws on sexuality.