His inquiry came when acting minister Harsha de Silva tabled the national action plan for the protection and promotion of human rights 2017-2021 in relation to obtaining the GSP+ export concession from the European Union.
That sent the cabinet members into laughter.
The action plan, submitted with the approval of the prime minister, proposes to abolish the British-imposed ‘Victorian era’ repressive laws on sexuality.
De Silva was in difficulties when ministers questioned him about the proposal which had several technical terms such as discrimination on sexual orientation & transactional sex.
In the end, the president rejected the proposal and told the cabinet that no decision that affected the country’s culture would be allowed under any circumstances.