Reports and Campaigns

spotAbout the Socialist Party




spotElection campaigns



spotSocialist women


spotYouth and Students

All keywords

Women keywords:

1967 Abortion Act (8)

Abortion (92)

Babies (13)

Beauty industry (1)

Childcare (66)

Cosmetic surgery (2)

Discrimination (80)

Domestic violence (59)

Dress (8)

Equal pay (31)

Family (109)

Feminism (19)

International Womens day (8)

IVF (2)

Lap dancing (2)

Lap-dancing (3)

Lone parents (5)

Maternity (40)

Midwifery (3)

Midwives (15)

Muslim women (6)

Pregnancy (16)

Pro-life (6)

Prostitutes (7)

Prostitution (9)

Rape (60)

Right to choose (27)

Sex (37)

Sexism (82)

Sexual harassment (6)

Socialist women (13)

Veil (3)

Violence against women (22)

Women (483)

womens rights (1)

Reports and campaigns:

Anti-capitalism (1268)

Anti-fascist (566)

Anti-racism (708)

Anti-war (1513)

Asylum (220)

Black and Asian (398)

Children (393)

CNWP (108)

Corporate crime (2)

Disability (202)

Education (4018)

Election campaigns (2494)

Environment (617)

EU (461)

Finance (107)

Food (274)

Health and safety (36)

Health and welfare (320)

Housing (1072)

Human Rights (388)

LGBT Pride (143)

Local government (2220)

Local services (3704)

Low pay (521)

Migration (58)

Nationalisation (151)

New workers party (470)

NHS (1886)

Pensions (714)

Post Office (223)

Poverty (586)

Privatisation (1038)

Public Services (1160)

Socialism (893)

Socialist (46)

Sport (200)

Stop the slaughter of Tamils (95)

Students (1870)

The state (1389)

Transport (559)

TUSC (1006)

Welfare rights (724)

Women (800)

Workplace and TU campaigns (8388)

Youth (1996)

Related websites

Youth Fight For Jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

National Shop Stewards Network

Tamil Solidarity

Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 858, 3 June 2015: Strikes get results

Search site for keywords: Sri Lanka - Students - Protest - Women - Violence against women - Solidarity - Police - Tamil Solidarity

Sri Lankan students protest

End violence against women

Bharathi Subramanian, Tamil Solidarity

On 20 May, Jaffna in Sri Lanka came to a standstill, with shops being shut and black flags raised in memory of Vidya Sivaloganathan, the 17-year-old A-level student brutally gang raped and murdered. This came alongside the biggest public demonstrations in Sri Lanka's north in recent years.

Vidya's body was found in a dishevelled state with her hands and legs tied to a tree log using her school tie, and her mouth was stuffed with a rag.

Students from schools across the north and east showed their rage starting with the students from Vidya's school.

From the Kytes island, this sense of solidarity spread to Jaffna and elsewhere, including students from Muslim girls' schools, taking to the streets. They were protesting to condemn the brutal act and to demand that the culprits be brought to book.

State violence

As a consequence, nine suspects were arrested. The day that the suspects were brought before the Jaffna magistrates court saw an unprecedented number of protesters on the streets.

What began as a largely peaceful protest turned violent as state forces fired tear gas at the protesters and fired gunshots in the air. This was a huge overreaction to the throwing of stones at the court windows.

This antagonised the protesters, who defended themselves against the police. The result was that more than 120 people were arrested - protesters and bystanders. Some are still in police jails.

Demonstrations in Jaffna have now been banned, with arrest on the spot being issued to anyone protesting - a total denial of democratic rights.

The public outcry expressed the fear that the criminals will get away without prosecution.

When the crime was reported, the police initially disregarded the complaint by the parents. They said it was a family feud. However, they soon had to change their position due to the pressure they were under.

This highlights the complete lack of police accountability to the local population. In fact, they are seen as part of an occupying force, not even speaking the language of local people.


The objectification of women is a huge issue in Sri Lanka, as in all developing countries and around the world. The problems are further enhanced by the militarisation in the north and east and by the land grab. Tamils are treated as second-class citizens, with no real rights, and crimes against them can be committed with impunity.

The vulnerability of women to attack is also worsened by the lack of social and public services, good housing, and the lack of future prospects.

Tamil Solidarity stands in solidarity with the protesters and strongly condemns crimes of sexual violence. We welcome the mass expression of rage and strong sense of solidarity across the island.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018