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» CUBA FOUND A CANCER VACCINE! MORE THAN 4 THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY BEEN CURED BY IT!
Yesterday at 9:15 pm by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා

» හදාගත් දරුවෝ: DNA බැංකුවට ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ හා නෙදර්ලන්තයේ සහාය
Yesterday at 5:33 pm by Ethical Trader

» ෆයිසර් මුස්තාපාට එරෙහිව විශ්වාස භංගයක්?
Yesterday at 2:52 pm by Yin-Yang

» 'සිම්හල ද්වීපයේ පද්මාවතිය' හා අර්බුදයට මැදිවූ පද්මාවතී එක් තැනැත්තියක් ද ?
Yesterday at 1:22 pm by Ethical Trader

» ඉන්දියාව 'බ්‍රහ්මෝස්' සාර්ථක බව කියයි
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:26 am by Ethical Trader

» How to Calculate the Future Value of an Investment
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:46 am by Ethical Trader

» මුගාබේ ඉවත් වීමත් සමඟ 'හරාරේ' සැණකෙළි සිරි ගනියි
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:34 am by Ethical Trader

» විසිපස් වසරක් ගෙවුනත් ඉල්ලීම් ඉටුවී නැහැ - නිදහස් මාධ්‍ය ව්‍යාපාරය
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:30 am by Ethical Trader

» Dividend Announcement
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:21 am by Ethical Trader

» කොටස් වෙළෙඳපොළේ ලැයිස්තුගත කෙරෙන අලුත්ම සමාගම – LVL Energy Fund Limited
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:42 pm by nihal123

» අගමැති රනිල් බැඳුම්කර කොමිසම හමුවේ පැවසුවේ මොනවාද?
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:08 pm by Ethical Trader

» Obituary Notice.
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:03 pm by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා

» උතුරු කොරියාවේ "සබ්මැරීන බැලිස්ටික් මිසයිල වැඩසටහනකුත්"
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:34 am by Ethical Trader

» උතුරු කොරියාව සහ න්‍යෂ්ඨික ප්‍රහාර: "නීති විරෝධී නියෝග පිළිපදින්නේ නෑ"
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:28 am by Ethical Trader

» 'සොල්දාදුවාගේ සිරුරේ අඟල් එකොළහක පණුවෙක්'
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:13 pm by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා

» මිනිස්සු දුවනවා, අපි නැවතිලා බලන් ඉන්නවා.
Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:46 pm by Ethical Trader

» Plantation sector updates
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:54 am by lanka

» සිම්බාබ්වේ: ජනාධිපති රොබට් මුගාබේ "අත්අඩංගුවේ"
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:54 am by Ethical Trader

» ආයෝජනයට ශ්‍රීලංකාවට එන්න එපා.! ජාත්‍යන්තර සමාගම් නිවේදනයකට සැරසෙයි
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:15 pm by Admin

» Soldiers 'take over Zimbabwe broadcaster'
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:52 am by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා

» බටහිර ලෝකය භේද කරන බවට රුසියාවට චෝදනා
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm by Ethical Trader

» යුද අපරාධ සහ අතුරුදහන් කිරීම්: ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මානව හිමිකම් වාර්තාව ජිනීවා විමසුමට
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:56 am by Ethical Trader

» ඉරාන, ඉරාක භූමිකම්පාවෙන් 200 කට වැඩි පිරිසක් මරුට
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:27 pm by Ethical Trader

» මැද පෙරදිග බල තරඟය දරුණු අතට හැරෙයි
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:16 pm by guruji

» වචන නම් අපේ ඒත් තනුව ?????????
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:28 am by Rana

» දිල්ලියේ පරිසරය රැකීමට වාහන සලාක ක්‍රමයක්
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:05 pm by Ethical Trader

» අයවැය සහ මෝටර් රථ: නව පිළිවෙතක්
Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:42 pm by Ethical Trader

» Flying is the Safest mode of Transport
Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:12 pm by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා

» In the Meantime, Within Our Shores !
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:13 am by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා

» වංචා දුෂණ නඩු කඩිනම් කරන්න විශේෂ මහාධිකරණයක්
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» LIOC.N0000 (Lanka IOC PLC)
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» ගින්නෙන් දැවෙන අලි පැටවාගේ සේයාරුව පළමු තැනට
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» 10 Things to Remember Before You Take Things Personally
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» හැම තැනම නැහැ, හැම දාම නැහැ
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» Beware !
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» How to Find Undervalued Stocks and Turn a Large Profit
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Shouldn’t Victoria now stop ruling us?

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Shouldn’t Victoria now stop ruling us?

Post by Backstage on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:26 pm

Shouldn’t Victoria now stop ruling us?
Queen Victoria’s regime marked the birth of a brave new nation, but should that mean that she continue to dictate how we behave?
March 20, 2017
By Chanuka Wattegama
6 min read

Queen Victoria ruled the island, then called Ceylon, from 1837 to 1901 – for 64 years. If you just ignore the reign of King Pandukabhaya of Mahawamsa narration that has not been historically established by archeological evidence, Victoria’s regime is the longest the island has seen.

Her reign was not just long, it was also the period that marked the most substantial transformation in Lankan history thus far. The implementation of the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission recommendations for administrative, financial, economic and judicial reforms commenced just before she assumed the throne and continued throughout her reign. These, for the first time, gave birth to a modern state replacing Kandyan feudalism. The estate economy – first coffee, then tea – paved the way for capitalism. Judiciary was made free from the absolute monarch. Administrative, railway, postal, education, healthcare and legal systems were introduced. The country also, for the first time in history again, enjoyed half a century of peace – no wars were recorded in the second half of the nineteenth century, which might have contributed significantly towards development. In short, it was an era of harmony and prosperity that created a brave new nation.

This Victorian transformation did not happen just in Ceylon. First and foremost, England and all of its then colonies that represented a global empire went through it. Then came parts of America and Canada that were colonised by the British. Finally, it also happened in countries like Thailand and parts of China – mainly Shanghai – which were not British colonies but did international business with them.

In fact, it is not easy to list countries that missed it, like France and Germany, for example. Victorian values were suddenly the fashion in more than half the globe. They were strong – particularly when compared with the feudal systems they replaced. Our challenge today is outlived Victorian values. We still blindly follow Victorian norms from a hundred years ago. That shouldn’t continue; the world changes. Whatever seen as unacceptable a hundred or even one hundred and fifty years ago may now be acceptable. It would be naïve to follow a value system that was the norm hundred years ago.

Our challenge today is outlived Victorian values. We still blindly follow Victorian norms from a hundred years ago.

Why this sudden concern?

For the longest time, the practice was only a nuisance, but now it’s started to disturb us. Two recent policy issues – both related to the country’s legal system – demonstrate that it is the right time to deviate from the Victorian value system. Both these issues – LGBT and marijuana – shouldn’t have become policy issues in the first place. The very fact that we consider them ‘policy issues’ indicates our inability to see beyond the Victorian straightjacket.

Let’s consider the details. The Ceylon Penal Code, based on the Indian version, was first introduced in the latter part of the Victorian period in 1883. Actually, the English law was applied even before, as judges applied it instead of Dutch criminal law. The penal code has criminalised LGBT activities.

Sections 365 and 365A of the Sri Lankan Penal Code of 1883 (as amended by Act No.22 of 1995) criminalises sex between individuals of the same gender. The term of imprisonment for the offence is two years or less, and it allows this offence to be prosecuted by the police in the Magistrates Court. Initially, the law didn’t cover women, most probably because it was beyond Victorian thinking. But in 1995, substituting the word ‘males’ with the gender-neutral ‘persons’, women too now face anti-homosexual regulations.

Naturally, the penal code could not have reflected anything but Victorian values of 1883. They may have been strong then, but these values were neither universally accepted nor had any scientific basis as suitable human behavior. They were just the thinking of the day.

One should also consider the convenience factor. A law could also be made for the convenience of society and not because it criminalises unacceptable behaviour. As the colonial law applied largely to the masses rather than the white masters who governed them, it is not unreasonable to assume that an objective of this law was to reduce the number of sexual harassment complaints the police would have otherwise received. As the law punishes even the victim, it effectively prevents an individual from complaining if subjected to a sex crime by another of the same gender.

Sadly, present Sri Lankan authorities ignore reality. Either they are not aware of globally altered social attitudes to the LGBT community or ignore them for political gain. A Google search reveals that 67% of nations now have nothing against same-sex relationships, with unanimous approval in Europe.

As of end-2016, 41 countries allowed same-sex marriages, while nearly 100 others are in the process of enacting necessary laws. The right to change one’s gender is not acceptable only in 44 countries. Adoption by same-sex couples is also becoming common as LGBT discrimination declines. In short, most countries still seeing the LGBT community as abnormal or detrimental to society are either extremely religious, naively communist or conservatively Asian. The last category includes many former British colonies that adopted Victorian values in the same period.

The next issue is even more interesting. Sri Lanka’s penal code prohibits the possession, sale, transportation and cultivation of cannabis, among other drugs. While the punishment is relatively mild compared to those for offences related to serious narcotics like heroin, meth and cocaine, they still exist.

Victorian rules against the LGBT community and cannabis consumption must change. That is the least we expect from a government that promised to listen to its people

Is cannabis that dangerous to be considered banned?

Although many people typically associate drugs with crime, most criminal activity tied to marijuana has to do with illegal distribution, not violence committed by people who smoke it. On the other hand, the number of crimes that are committed after excessive alcohol consumption is massive. It is far worse than what’s going on with marijuana. Violent assaults, in particular, are often fueled by alcohol, not by marijuana, which calms rather than provoking.

The thinking about cannabis too is changing globally. In the US, medical cannabis is legal in some states, although medical and recreation use is illegal by federal law. While federal law is controlling, the Obama administration has taken a bold decision not to prosecute users operating in compliance with local medical and recreational marijuana laws. Canada recently allowed medical use in some states.

We cannot expect Sri Lanka to follow suit as fast, but change must come. Victoria is dead. She should be respectfully buried. Victorian rules against the LGBT community and cannabis consumption must change. That is the least we expect from a government that promised to listen to its people.
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