Announcing the Abhimani European Film Festival for Colombo Pride 2018

It is with great pleasure and pride that we announce the merging of the Annual European Film Festival with the Abhimani Queer Film Festival, one of the oldest Queer Film Festivals in South Asia.

COLOMBO PRIDE 2018 together with the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives will collaborate to launch a unique and exciting Film Festival this year – The Abhimani European Film Festival for Colombo PRIDE 2018 – featuring LGBTIQ films from across Europe and other regions of the world. The European Film Festival promotes cultural exchanges between Europe and Sri Lanka and aims to promote understanding between the people of Sri Lanka and Europe. The Abhimani Queer Film Festival celebrates Queer Cinema fostering an appreciation of LGBTIQ films from around the globe while promoting the support and acceptance of Queer Culture in Sri Lanka and abroad.

The Festival promises a great line up of short and full-length films primarily from Europe, in addition to Tonga, Australia and India.  It promises to be a unique cinematic experience for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities and the first of its kind in Sri Lanka!

Dates -29th June 2018 – 1st of July 2018
Time -3.00pm – 10pm
Venue – Lakshman Kadirigamar Auditorium
Address – 24 Horton Pl, Colombo 07

For updates on programing, venues and times please check the Abhimani European Film Festival for Colombo Pride 2018 .

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Find peace of mind: free counseling service for LGBTIQ persons


Colombo PRIDE 2018 - Save the dates

Most of the dates are set for this years 14th edition of Colombo PRIDE! Please do keep checking this page from time to time for breaking news, updates on events and exciting happenings! Or, like our Facebook page – Colombo PRIDE 2018 and be informed of every event, every venue and other details!

4th June – Media Sensitising & conference

9th & 10th June 2018 – Youth Camp

12th June 2018 – FFLGBTIQ Forum (Family & Friends of LGBTIQ)

14th June 2018 – Music and Dance Festival

16th June 2018 – Rainbow Bus Parade


17th – 20th June – Abhimani LGBTIQ Film Festival
The ABHIMANI LGBTIQ FILM FESTIVAL is one of the oldest Queer Film Festivals in South Asia, inaugurated in 2006. It is also the only Queer Film Festival in Sri Lanka.

17th – 20th June – Rainbow Visions Art & Photo Exhibition

21st June – IDEA Junction/Addahas Mansala/Yosane Sandee

23rd June 2018 – Rainbow Pride Party

24th June The Rainbow Kite Festival

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The Convention on the Rights of the Child, recommends decriminalisation and non-discrimination

EQUAL GROUND welcomes the recommendations made to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Committee reviewing State obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), after its review at the CRC’s 77th Session last year. Based on the thematic report submitted by EQUAL GROUND at the 77th Session of the CRC in 2017, the Committee addressing the issues on discrimination recommended that the Government of Sri Lanka adopt proactive and comprehensive strategies and well-targeted actions to eliminate discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) children. Furthermore, they recommended Sri Lanka combat discrimination against LGBTI children by decriminalising same-sex conduct, prohibiting harassment of transgender children by law enforcement personnel, and bringing the perpetrators of violence – including sexual abuse of LGBTI children – to justice.

The recommendations also call for the inclusion of mandatory teaching practices of non-discrimination and equality within the school curriculum and to train teachers accordingly.

Addressing issues of sexual exploitation and abuse, the committee notes their concern on the lack of legal recognition of male rape and the underreporting of sexual abuse of boys due to the criminalisation and stigmatisation of homosexuality and the shame associated with the “emasculation” that sexual abuse can cause for boys. The Committee recommends measures to be taken to criminalise statutory rape of boys by revising article 363 of the Penal Code of Sri Lanka. They further urge the Government of Sri Lanka to take the necessary actions to raise awareness regarding the matter, encourage reporting of violations by de-stigmatising and ensuring that accessible, confidential and child-friendly channels are made available for this purpose.

We would like to highlight the following CRC Committee recommendations pertaining to the LGBTI community.

Section C. General Principles

16. The Committee urges the State party to take awareness-raising measures targeted at adults and children to overcome the prevalent perception about children as inferior to adults, and to treat children as rights-holders. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party:

b) Adopt a proactive and comprehensive strategy containing specific and well-targeted actions, including affirmative social actions to eliminate discrimination against children in marginalized or vulnerable situations, including girls, children belonging to ethnic or ethno-religious or indigenous minority groups, children subjected to caste-based discrimination, children living in rural areas, refugee and internally displaced children, children in street situations, children of migrant workers abroad, children in institutional care, children with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) children;

© Combat discrimination against LGBTI children, including by decriminalising consensual same-sex acts, prohibit harassment of transgender children by law enforcement personnel, and bring perpetrators of violence, including of sexual abuse of LGBTI children, to justice;

(f) Include segments on non-discrimination and equality into the mandatory school curriculum for children of all ages, adapt teaching materials and regularly train teachers accordingly.

Section E. Violence against children
Sexual exploitation and abuse

23. The Committee, despite noting the efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children, is gravely concerned about:

(b) The lack of legal recognition of male rape and under-reporting of sexual abuse of boys because of stigmatisation, criminalisation of homosexuality, and feeling ashamed of so-called “emasculation”.

24. The Committee urges the State party to develop an effective and comprehensive policy for preventing the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, including through child pornography, and for promoting the recovery and social reintegration of child victims, taking into consideration the root causes that place children at risk. It further urges the State party to:
(b) Take prompt measures to revise article 363 of the Penal Code to criminalize statutory rape of boys, and take large-scale awareness raising measures to encourage the reporting of rape of boys, to eliminate stigma associated with it, and to ensure accessible, confidential, child-friendly and effective reporting channels for such violations;

Please find the complete concluding observations at the OHCHR website.

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Violence comes in different shapes and forms. Within the LGBT community, people are often subjected to emotional, physical and sexual abuse by family, peers and persons in positions of power. Such situations often go unnoticed due to the lack of explicit protection for the LGBTIQ community in Sri Lanka.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of any form of violence based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, share your story with us. We can support you with legal, medical and emotional advice.

CALL 0114 334277 | TEXT/WHATSAPP – 0777677333 |

[01] Lesbians Are Often Forced into Marriage Against Their Will. Which Results In A Lifetime Of Emotional, Physical And Sexual Abuse.

[02] Lesbian couples get beaten up or verbally abused based on their gender expressions and sexuality.

[03] Police officers arbitrarily arrest gay men causing physical and emotional distress by blackmailing them.

[04] Gay men and boys face sexual abuse by family members and peers because of their sexual orientation and gender expression.

[05] Trans women are sexually abused by law enforcement due to their gender identity and expression.

[06] Trans women are harassed verbally, physically and sexually on the street for their gender identity and expressions.

[07] Transmen are often questioned about their genitalia by law enforcement, the medical sector, the work force and other institutions, and are regularly forced to expose themselves causing grave emotional distress.

[08] Trans men are sexually abused by family members to “cure” them of their gender identity and expressions.

For a better view of our 16 day Campaign to end Violence against the LGBTIQ community got to:

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