United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has told Tamil language newspaper, Virakesari, that the rape and murder of Tamil activist Isie Priya is an ‘unforgiveable wrong.’

He addressed a gathering held at the Parliament premises to announce the formation of a committee for securing the rights of women and children.

Wickremesinghe’s statement, as published in the Virakesari on 8 March, is as follows; …

“How can we make claims of protecting the rights of the people of Sri Lanka to the international community when such actions have taken place? Reports are coming in continuously on the treatment women are subjected to in this country.

The government has no specific action plans to deal with this situation, hence the increase in rape cases.

“This is exactly the reason why the UNP has formed a special committee to address serious issues pertaining to women of Sri Lanka. We talk of the rights of the minority communities of Sri Lanka, yet the population of this country consists of a majority of females, whose rights are being violated. When the rights of women in the South are being violated so grossly, what more is left to be discussed about the women of the North? These people are of the opinion that women are nothing more than playthings.”