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SL LGBTQIA+ activist Rosanna Flamer-Caldera recognised among 100 most influential people of 2024

By: Editor (LGBTIQ)

April 18, Colombo (LNW): Renowned Sri Lankan LGBTQIA+ rights activist Rosanna Flamer-Caldera has been honoured as an Icon in Time magazine’s prestigious list of the 100 most influential people of 2024.

Time magazine acknowledges Caldera’s remarkable dedication to advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights in Sri Lanka, spanning over two decades.

Her unwavering efforts culminated in a significant triumph for queer women globally.

In a groundbreaking verdict in 2022, the United Nations supported Caldera in her legal challenge against Sri Lanka’s prohibition on same-sex intimacy among women, deeming it a violation of human rights.

This pivotal case propelled LGBTQIA+ rights to the forefront of Sri Lankan political discourse.

Subsequently, following the UN’s decision, a legislative proposal to decriminalise consensual same-sex conduct between adults was introduced by Ruling Party MP Premnath Dolawatte.

Although President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed no opposition to the amendment, its constitutional validity was contested before the Supreme Court.

Ironically, the bill was challenged by a group of stalwarts of the same political party in which Dolawatte serves as an MP.

The Supreme Court dismissed the arguments against the bill, delivering a special determination that consensual same-sex conduct between adults do not violate the Constitution of Sri Lanka, and a bill to decriminalise such acts, therefore, can be made into law with a simple-majority in Parliament.

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera’s LGBTQIA+ rights organisation, Equal Ground, formed in 2004, was among the groups advocating in support of the bill.

Caldera’s contribution to the rights of queer people in Sri Lanka runs way beyond the era during which Equal Ground was formed.

In the political climate of Sri Lanka, the National Peoples Power (NPP) led by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) remains the sole party which recognises LGBTQIA+ rights in its written policies. The main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) categorically recognises LGBTQIA+ rights, despite having no confirmed report of possessing such policy in its manifestos.

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