« Respectable Gentlemen and Street-Savvy Men: HIV Vulnerability in Sri Lanka » by Sandya Hewamanne in Medical Anthropology

We are glad to provide a link for e prints for Sandya Hewamanne’s new article in Medical Anthropology on HIV vulnerability and migrant workers in Sri Lanka.
In this article, the author investigates how particular discourses surrounding class specific understandings of sexual behavior and female morality shape awareness and views of the disease and personal vulnerability. Although both groups belong to the working class, those employed by the transportation board consider themselves government servants and, therefore, “respectable gentlemen.” Construction workers identify easily with their class position, recognizing and sometimes trying to live up to the stereotypes of free sexuality. These different perceptions directly affect their concern and awareness of risk factors for sexually transmissible infections and safe-sex practices. While the “respectable gentlemen” consider themselves invulnerable, the “street-savvy men” learned about risks and took precautions to prevent STIs.

Author information

Sandya Hewamanne

Sandya Hewamanne is the author of Stitching Identities in a Free Trade Zone: Gender and Politics in Sri Lanka (2008) and Sri Lanka’s Global Factory Workers: (Un) Disciplined Desires and Sexual Struggles in a Post-colonial Society (2016). She teaches anthropology at the University of Essex, United Kingdom.

Report on « Exploitation in Qatar of workers from Sri Lanka and other Asian countries » by Amnesty International

Amnesty International has issued a new report entitled:  « The Dark Side of Migration:  Spotlight on Qatar’s construction sector ahead of the World Cup. »  The report reveals routine and widespread abuse of migrant labor in Qatar’s construction industry, in some cases amounting to forced labor.  Workers in Qatar’s construction industry come from Sri Lanka and other Asian countries.  For more information, please see http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/qatar-end-corporate-exploitation-migrant-construction-workers-2013-11-17

If anyone has information on any diaspora organizations working on behalf of Sri Lankan migrant workers in the Middle East, I’d appreciate hearing about them.
For more information on Amnesty’s concerns in Sri Lanka, please visit amnestyusa.org/srilanka.
Jim McDonald
Sri Lanka Country Specialist
Amnesty International USA