The National Forum Against Gender-Based Violence in Sri Lanka, a collective of 53 agencies comprising of the Government, United Nations, national and international non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and individual experts in the field, has come forward to speak up for justice for DIG Bimshani Jasin Arachchi.
In a statement, the Forum said it was deeply disappointed in the recent petition challenged by 32 Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP) and 1 Director SSP – in total 33 male officers – against the appointment of Bimshani Jasin Arachchi as Sri Lanka’s first female Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) on the purported basis that no female police officer in the country can be appointed as the DIG of Police, as the word ‘women’ is not mentioned in the regulations pertaining to promotions.
Therefore, the Forum expresses its serious concern and notes that this is indeed an act of workplace discrimination and sexism.
Article 12 (2) of the Sri Lankan Constitution stipulates that no citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth, or any one of such grounds.
“We are of the opinion that cadre of all-state agencies and institutions, including the Police Department, should reflect the pluralistic nature of Sri Lanka, including gender. As such, the National Forum Against Gender-Based Violence urges the relevant authorities to protect the fundamental rights of both men and women by providing equitable opportunities and inclusive space for females to enjoy their Rights as employees in the world of work,” the Forum said.
It encourages all citizens to stand in solidarity with Bimshani Jasin Arachchi, Sri Lanka’s first female Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG).
The National Forum against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Sri Lanka was set up in 2005 in order to facilitate greater coordination, sharing of information/resources and to strengthen multi-sectoral responses to GBV.