Colombo: The rape of a 47-year-old woman near a Colombo suburb has evoked a similar sentiment of outrage as that was witnessed in India after the Delhi gangrape case. The woman was allegedly raped by four auto drivers and is in hospital now.
Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said that two of the accused were arrested on Thursday after a witness raised an alarm. The authorities are now on a lookout for the other two. "The victim has been admitted to hospital," Jayakody said adding that the men had attacked her when she went to a taxi stand to ask for directions after losing her bearings in the Mirihana suburb of Colombo on Wednesday night.
A women's rights group, Lak Vanitha, or Lankan women, said they were staging a demonstration later in Thursday outside a police station in the same area where the unidentified woman was attacked by the drivers. "We have about 1,400 rapes recorded each year in Sri Lanka," Lak Vanitha chief Shanthinie Kongahage said. "The actual number should be much more. Most victims are afraid to report because of social stigma or out of fear of more violence," she said adding, "We are pressing the police to ensure a speedy investigation and a quick prosecution."
Of the four auto drivers who raped the women, two have been arrested and police were on a lookout for the other two.
She said the international publicity surrounding the Delhi gangrape last month had inspired her group to raise the issue locally and create more awareness in the local community. "Lot of women are harassed by three wheel drivers," she said referring to the ubiquitous autorickshaws which have become an alternative to poor public transport.
"We need to take a stand and say enough is enough," she said. The 23-year-old Delhi braveheart who died of her injuries has touched a nerve in neighbouring Sri Lanka where activists have expressed solidarity with Indian women facing sexual violence.