The situation of sexual harassment in Sri Lanka’s media industry is a serious concern, as women media workers are often subjected to such harassment for various reasons, including promotions. However, most of them do not report it due to social stigma and inaction by law enforcement agencies.
The recent resignation of Ishara Dewendra, a senior news presenter at the state-owned Independent Television Network (ITN), due to alleged sexual harassment in the workplace has raised awareness of this issue. Devendra informed the authorities about the harassment she faced, but no action was taken, which is a common situation in Sri Lanka.
In response to Debendra’s allegations, the ITN chairman has instructed General Manager to start an inquiry into the matter, following the accepted practices of the ITN. The management is in the process of selecting an external inquiring officer. The Federation of Media Employees Trade Union has demanded justice for Dewendra and addressed the issue of harassment against female journalists.