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Chandrika for women reservation in Sri Lankan Parliament

Last Updated: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 14:18

Colombo: Even as the women`s reservation
bill awaits clearance in India, former Sri Lankan President
Chandrika Kumaratunga has strongly favoured reservation for
women in the Island nation`s Parliament, while contending that
women by nature are more caring and better negotiators in
matter of state and governance.

Sri Lanka is one of the countries in the whole world
which has the lowest women representation in Parliament, she
said while speaking on womens` role in politics and other
matters here.

"We (Sri Lanka ) have only about 13 per cent
representation (in Parliament) even at present and it was sort
of similar even during my time and presidency also. I think it
was slightly more 15-20 percent (during my time) It is not
satisfactory", she said.

> Kumaratunga said the changes in the system for larger
representation of women in Parliament and state legislatures
could be done without an constitutional amendment by amending
the election laws of the country.

Kumaratunga the fourth Executive President of Sri Lanka
serving from November 1994 to November 2005, escaped a Tamil
Tiger suicide bomb attack within yards of her car at an
election rally in Colombo in 1999, losing one eye.

The former President said now that Sri Lanka was free of
the LTTE problem it could get down to looking at these issues.

"Now the government can apply itself to bringing in a
election law. They can amend the election law. They don`t need
to amend the constitution", she told a private TV channel esterday.

"And they (the government) of course have to change the
election law to ensure. For example if you say 33 per cent
(for women) then (it should be ensured that ) 33 per cent of
the elected people are also women. The election law will have
to be amended by that is not difficult", the former president

"There are so many urgent problems such as the ongoing
war when we took over, besides the destruction of almost all
important democratic values in the country", Kumaratunga said.

"Unfortunately, also the essential issues such as
increasing the gender balance in favour of women and all that
had to be pushed aside for a little while. But we did lots of
other things for women", she said recalling her days as the
president of the country.

"Women by nature are more caring obviously because they
are made out to be by nature to be mothers and not the males.
The mother nature is the caring nature of women. And women are
also the mediators in their homes. Women will be more caring
leaders. And certainly better negotiators perhaps in matters
of state and governance", Kumaratunga said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 14:18
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