SL SIDED WITH UN ON SAME-SEX COU­PLES’ IS­SUE: NFF

Coun­try’s re­li­gious val­ues com­pro­mised

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - BY PIYUMIFONSEKA

The Na­tional Free­dom Front yes­ter­day charged that the gov­ern­ment had vi­o­lated Sri Lankan law and For­eign Pol­icy by vot­ing against a pro­posal to stop the United Na­tions ex­tend­ing staff benefits to all same-sex cou­ples at the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly bud­get com­mit­tee in March.

Ad­dress­ing a me­dia brief­ing NFF Me­dia Spokesman Mo­hammed Muza­m­mil ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of lead­ing the coun­try to­wards a cul­tural de­struc­tion while the coun­try that is al­ready experiencing po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic in­sta­bil­ity due to the gov­ern­ment’s course of ac­tion.

The pro­posal pre­sented by the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment failed at the UN bud­get com­mit­tee to stop the UN ex­tend­ing staff benefits to all same-sex cou­ples af­ter the com­mit­tee voted 80 to 43 against the pro­posal and 37 na­tions ab­stain­ing.

As a coun­try deeply rooted in Bud­dhist phi­los­o­phy and its teach­ings, Sri Lanka is en­riched with var­i­ous cul­tures which have been pro­tected for cen­turies. Even in the Sri Lankan Pe­nal Code, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is a non-bail­able of­fence and en­cour­ag­ing it is also an of­fence.

Mr. Muza­m­mil said among In­dia, Saudi Ara­bia, China, Iran, Egypt, Pak­istan and Syria which voted in favour of Rus­sia’s pro­posal, Sri Lanka was the only South Asian coun­try that op­posed the pro­posal.

“As a coun­try deeply rooted in Bud­dhist phi­los­o­phy and its teach­ings, Sri Lanka is en­riched with var­i­ous cul­tures which have been pro­tected for cen­turies. Even in the Sri Lankan Pe­nal Code, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is a non-bail­able of­fence and en­cour­ag­ing it is also an of­fence. But, the gov­ern­ment has ac­cepted ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity pub­licly. It is clear that the gov­ern­ment has vi­o­lated the coun­try’s law and triv­i­al­ized our for­eign pol­icy in­ter­na­tion­ally,” he charged.

The NFF Spokesman asked as to who took the de­ci­sion to back ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity which has be­come a much-talked about topic in the world re­cently. “How­ever, this ac­tion in­di­cates the gov­ern­ment’s at­tempts to de­vi­ate from long last­ing poli­cies of the coun­try,” he said. Rus­sia’s pro­posal called for the with­drawal of the ad­min­is­tra­tive rul­ing of UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon in July 2014 to recog­nise all same-sex mar­riages of its staff, al­low­ing them to re­ceive UN benefits.

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