COLOMBO, Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka’s ruling party presidential candidate appears to be tapping into the sentiments of the country’s female voters by launching a rather unusual campaign offering free sanitary napkins to women and young girls if he is elected in Saturday’s presidential election.

But the pledge, which has been welcome by various quarters, has also earned 52-year-old Sajith Premadasa severe flak from conservative Sri Lankan men and women who have labeled him “padman” for unnecessarily drawing attention to what some say is a taboo subject, as it focuses on menstruation.

Read more: Sri Lanka ruling party runner woos women with free sanitary pads