Sri Lanka's gay community gathered in the capital November 27 to raise awareness about minority issues and seek acceptance in the country's conservative society.
'Diversity Games' an event organised by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender organisations held their annual outing at Colombo's Narahenpita area at a public park amid enthusiastic participation.
"The annual event helps create awareness and build solidarity among their minority group and conservative Sri Lankan society " event organiser, Sherman de Rose said De Rose, a former Roman Catholic brother-turned-gay activist is leading a 15-year campaign demanding the authorities to decriminalise homosexuality in conservative Sri Lanka.
Homosexuality is a century old punishable offence in Sri Lanka introduced by British colonial administration.
When the law was introduced in 1883 it did not acknowledge that women could have sex with each other and therefore lesbians could not be prosecuted.
However, with the government substituting the word "males" with the gender-neutral "persons" in the 1995 amendment to the penal code, women too face anti-homosexual regulations.
However, there have been no recent reports of anyone being prosecuted for homosexuality, but hundreds of heterosexual couples have been rounded up and taken to police stations for causing a public nuisance for displaying their affection for each other at public places such as parks and beaches.