We shall be the Butterflies for Democracy

The ‘First Citizen’ of our country who was elected by our vote and subsequently betrayed the public mandate, has resorted to using the term ‘Butterfly’, a derogatory term alluding to minority sexual orientations. He has done so to hurt, shame and insult his political opponents and the LGBTIQ+ community as a whole, in order to protect his waning popularity and to justify his anti-democratic acts. We stand here today in protest to the aforesaid act and in support of the continued protest by civil society to the ongoing attack on our democracy.

We weren’t hurt by the President’s Butterfly Speech. It made us stronger. A butterfly is a symbol of social change, hope, life, and diversity. But we are hurt that the politicians in the ‘current government’ led by him have betrayed the values of democracy. We are hurt because these politicians, who were elected through the public vote, have become marketable goods auctioned for offers worth millions.

Many of us supported Mr. Sirisena in 2015 to defeat the previous government which blatantly violated human rights, attacked and murdered journalists and social activists, and breached law and democracy. We condemn his repulsive act of reuniting with anti-democratic politicos of the previous government and conspiring to grab power for them, in the process, betraying the trust we placed upon him.

This is a reminder to him that he cannot use homophobia as armor to protect himself, and that he and every other public representative and political party should act to pave way for the Sri Lankan LGBTIQ+ community to live with dignity, respect, and equality of law and justice.

Furthermore, with utmost disgust, we vehemently condemn the blatantly one-sided media reportage and political interference in the media, which is apparent in the present context. Media Freedom is the foundation of democracy.

Homophobia is a concept introduced by the British, an imperialistic endowment born in the Victorian age of Morality. It has been 70 years since we gained independence. The contract adhered to by the British administrators of governance back then is continued by our own politicians. It will be a huge mistake on their part to believe that they could cling to power anti-democratically by sacrificing not just us, but the rights of all minorities, by spreading racism, religious disharmony and instigating ethnic conflicts.

We, as the ‘Butterfly’ community, vehemently condemn this ongoing conspiracy which is anti-democratic and power-hungry. We believe that human rights are protected in a democratic society. We ‘the butterflies’ will keep on fighting to protect it. The world can be changed, not by violence, but by the sound of a thousand butterfly wings rising for peace, justice and respect. Therefore, we shall be the Butterflies for Democracy. Every single insult and attack against us is an encouragement for us to continue our struggle.

Butterflies for Democracy

07th November 2018
Liberty Roundabout