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Disappointed in the way media report deaths of women: Hirunika

Former MP Hirunika Premachandra today expressed her disappointment over the way some media reported deaths of women, especially when reporting news related to the decapitated body of a woman found recently.

“We have seen several posts on social media ridiculing the murder. We have also seen some people justifying the murder due to the personal reasons given out by the media. The media is directly responsible for this, as they had published the personal details of the victim as well as images of the decapitated body,” she said at a Samagi Vanitha Balawegaya press conference held today in celebration of International Women’s Day.

She further said that the media had disregarded all integrity in this case.

“We should think about the impact of these actions. When such images are publicised, people think of this as a normal thing. We should only think about the brutality of the action, not how fascinating or clever it is. We also become extremely disappointed about the actions and regret what happened,” she stated.

Premachandra brought to attention how the media of India handled such situations. “In 2012, there was a rape and murder of a girl in a bus in Delhi. Indian media never published images of her face, and we do not even remember her name. We only remember her as ‘Nirbhaya’, which was a name given to her by the public for her refusal to give into fear. This is how they protected her identity and personality. When we consider events such as this, we can see how backward Sri Lankan media is.”

Further, she noted how the public’s response there was different to ours.

“They never questioned the victim for going out at night alone, but we can see a lot of Sri Lankans blaming the victim unnecessarily. Meanwhile, there is less of a backlash to the perpetrator,” she said.