‘Social Media Analysis: #StandforKesara’ analyzes the Social media buzz surrounding an autistic rape victim.
Kesara Kahandaliyanage, a 23-year-old came out of silence with allegations that he has been raped by 4 fellow employees of Green Cabin restaurant on its premises. Kesara is an exceptional individual suffering from autism. The social Media buzz around these allegations took its uprising when Kesara’s sister shared the following on her Facebook account. Quote;
“He had been working at Green Cabin for three years when on June 12th, 2015 he finally broke his silence and told us about how he had been repeatedly raped and abused by 4 fellow employees while at work. Kesara doesn’t understand the concept of time and when asked for how long it had been happening all he said was ‘for a long time’. He was clear about the fact that it happened on Saturdays and he gave us very detailed descriptions of what they had done to him. “
With this statement, Kesara’s family has created a Facebook page dedicated to this cause. It is being titled as “Stand for Kesara”. The statistics of the page is off the roof. With a massive engagement rate of 112.28%. Other stats of the page are as follows;
- Total likes as at 22nd September, 2015: 1,710 (Possibly organic)
- Likes growth: 40.97%
- People talking about this (PTAT): 1,920
We analysed the impact this incident has taken on the people’s mind by the posts that has risen from the two main social media platforms in Sri Lanka; Twitter and Facebook. This incident took an upward rise at the same time the Kotadeniyawa child murder– rape and murder of 5-year-old Seya Sadewmi took its place on Social Media.
Shaken by these disgusting events, people took the time out of their busy schedules to actually share or tweet their personal opinions on these inhuman acts thinking their opinions would make a difference. And it has. In our previous Social Media Analyses over the past couple of months we have critically analyzed the important role Social Media plays in the society in making a great penetration on matters with national interest.
However, these are still allegations in the face of law, that is why the family and the huge group of supporters rallied upon by the Gangodawila magistrates court on September 17th, 2015 to make a stand against the ‘rape culture’ and to show the authorities that a large group of people are on alert until the authorities conduct unbiased investigations into the case and take necessary lawful actions in order to bring justice and peace of mind to Kesara and his family.
The attention this incident has gotten is very low, maybe because the Kotadeniyawa child murder outshone Kesara’s case on Social Media networks with a little push from traditional media. Kotadeniyawa child murder still remains a mystery and it has become a trending and highly talked subject on Social media for the past couple of weeks. Following are some tweets about the ‘Kotadeniyawa child murder’ out of many (Over 200 tweets);
— Nadeeshan Meedin™ (@nMeeDiN) September 13, 2015
— Ceylon Today (@CeylonToday) September 14, 2015
— Farhan Nizamdeen (@greatgalle) September 16, 2015
The dedicated hashtag for the cause #StandforKesara has over 60 mentions on Facebook and less than 20 tweets as at 22nd September 2015 which is very low compared to ‘Kotadeniyawa child murder’ mentions and tweets that has taken an uprise on Social Media. However, there are various amounts of individual posts, shares on this case that doesn’t come under the dedicated hashtag but has helped immensely to generate great amounts of awareness around the incident. Following are some tweets by #StandforKesara supporters;
— Shashini Dissanayake (@sashi866) September 17, 2015
— Shahnaz Zakkir (@naz_zak) September 18, 2015
— Namith Swarnasinghe (@Namith_117) September 17, 2015
According to a recent study by the UN Multi-country (2013) on Men and Violence found that 14.5% of the sample of Sri Lankan men had perpetrated rape at some point in their lives. 4.9% had raped in the past year. 2.7% had raped another man. 1.6% had taken part in a gang rape. 96.5% of the men who had raped experienced no legal consequences. 65.8% didn’t feel worried or guilty afterwards. 64.9% of rapists had raped more than once, and 11.1% had raped four or more girls or women.
The above statistics are proof that the Sri Lankan legal system is filled with loopholes. And that is complementing the weak minds of our society to engage in such unspeakable activities and avoid the consequences. Let’s hope we can collectively make a voice and avoid another ‘Kesara’ and ‘Seya’ incident happening on this paradise island.