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“War widows face sexual exploitation” – CBK

Chandrika Kumaratunga, the former President and the current Chairman of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, revealed that Tamil women who were widowed from the civil war are victimized and abused by the Government Officials and the Army even for the most basic functions such as paper work.

“There is a lot of sexual abuse still done by the Officials, including Tamil officials and the Grama Sevakas (village officials),” she told Sri Lanka’s Foreign Correspondents’ Association. “Even to sign documents such as the birth certificate, they abuse women. Even people in the Armed Forces continue to commit sexual abuse.”

“We feel that when women have livelihoods, they will be empowered… they feel safer and they don’t have to be exploited,” she said, expressing the need to provide jobs for the women so that they would be less vulnerable.

She also stated that the women required counseling to overcome the psychological trauma. “We cannot bring counselors from abroad because they won’t know the language,” she added.

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