Connect with us

news

Justice Minister suggests abolition of all Kandyan, Thesawalamai and Muslim laws through new Constitution

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Making use of personal laws prevailing in a country at present to attack a single community would not be approved by any civilized nation, Justice Minister Ali Sabry told Parliament yesterday.

“It is so unfortunate that practices of those laws have become a tagline or a slogan for campaigns intended to raise hatred and disharmony among communities,” the Minister said.

Responding to a series of questions raised by Our Power of People’s Party National List MP Ven Aturaliye Ratana Thera, Minister Sabry said that personal laws in the country had evolved over centuries. The One Law One Country concept of the government was being implemented in spirit and in letter to promote the Sri Lankan national identity, the Minister said.

“There are several personal laws in this country. Among them are the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act, the Jaffna Thesawalamai Law, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, the Buddhist Temporalities Act and the Church of Ceylon Act. The Muslim law has been recognised as a personal law in many other countries, including India, the Philippines, Israel and Singapore. The Muslim laws are not solely made on the basis of the Quran. It was first recognised as the Mohammadan Code among other personal laws such as the Kandyan Law and the Theswalamai law in 1806. Thereafter, these laws evolved with time. For example, until 1938 amendments to the Kandyan law polyandry and polygamy were accepted in law. It is asked whether the Muslim law permits the marrying off of underage Muslim girls without their consent. This is not true. Such marriages are registered with their consent and only their fathers place their signature on registration documents on their behalf too after ascertaining the consent of the girl. In some states in the US the minimum age for marriage is 13, while in some provinces in Japan it is 15. Until 1997, here in Sri Lanka, that age was 16 years. According to Sections 8 to 15 of the Kandyan Law and the Section 22 of the Marriage Ordinance an underage marriage is accepted if the marrying children have the consent of their parents. There had been many such mismatches in the law until the Court intervened in 2002 and gave an order that the minimum age for marriage should be 18 years. Even in Saudi Arabia the minimum age of marriage is 18 now. We too have accepted that the minimum age of marriage should be set 18. I submitted a Cabinet paper in Nov 2020 to that effect. There I have also proposed the amending of the laws enabling females to act as Quazi judges and that the females getting married should place their signature in the registration documents. In addition, I have set up an advisory committee to amend Muslim laws and when their recommendations are ready they will be announced to the community so that people too could submit their proposals. We will consider all of them in amending the laws. I am against the marriages under the age of 18. There is also another fact that around 80 percent of underage mothers are not reported from the Muslim community but from other communities. That means they have become mothers even if their marriages are not registered.”

Minister Sabry said that achieving one law one country could not be achieved by doing away with personal laws of Muslim community only; there was the possibility of abolishing all personal laws at once and that could be done through the new Constitution being drafted, he added.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

‘Those who fear exposure making a din over Easter Sunday carnage PCoI report – PM

Published

on

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that some of those who fear that they will be held accountable under the law for the Easter Sunday attacks are now making a big noise over the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the carnage.

“They know that they will be exposed. That’s why they are making a din in the belief they could escape being taken to task under the law”, the premier told The Sunday Island.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has declared March 7 as ‘Black Sunday’ to demand justice to the victims of the attacks by bringing before the law those responsible for the carnage.

Church leaders have their congregations to be attired in black when they attend mass on Sunday. Church bells will toll at 8.45 am, the time of the near-simultaneous attacks, and special prayers will be offered for justice for the victims.

Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that the CID will begin investigations shortly to initiate the process of filing legal action against those responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks.

Continue Reading

news

Sri Lankan High Commission in India remains headless for 14 months

Published

on

BY S VENKAT NARAYAN

Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, March 5:

The Sri Lankan High Commission in India has remained without a Head of Mission for 14 months now.

Veteran civil servant Austin Fernando, who was posted here as the High Commissioner, went back home in January last year.

Former Minister Milinda Moragoda was appointed as the new High Commissioner with a Cabinet rank late last year, and India has accepted the appointment shortly thereafter.

But Moragoda is yet to take charge. It is not clear when he is planning to arrive in India.

Being a large neighbour and in view of excellent relations between the two countries, India is important for Sri Lanka.

Besides, as many as 92 New Delhi-based Ambassadors and High Commissioners are also concurrently accredited to Sri Lanka. Only 41 countries maintain their diplomatic missions in Colombo.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, direct flights between the two countries were suspended early last year. But Air India has been running special flights at regular intervals from Colombo to New Delhi and other cities to bring back Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka while on a holiday or a business trip.

India has also created air bubbles to allow flights to over 20 countries, including Bangladesh. But Sri Lanka is not one of them. Negotiations are said to be in progress to make this happen in due course of time.

Sources in Colombo said Moragoda is expected to leave later this month.

 

 

Continue Reading

news

WFP and Korea to Help Supply Thriposha to Children and Mothers

Published

on

COLOMBO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) are supporting the Government of Sri Lanka with funding worth USD 600,000 (LKR 117 million) to procure maize for the production of Thriposha.

The funding will be used to produce Thriposha, a maize-based fortified food product, which will be provided to 1.1 million mothers and children. The grant from Korea helps ensure continuation of the Thriposha programme, which the Government of Sri Lanka has been conducting for almost 50 years to provide nutrition to undernourished children and pregnant and lactating women.

Thriposha, which means triple nutrients, is a locally produced supplementary food product, provided free of charge to children below 5 years of age who are underweight or with a slow rate of weight gain and pregnant and lactating women with a low body mass index (BMI), through the public health system.

“The world is facing unexpected circumstances while battling with the pandemic,” says Kang Youn Hwa, KOICA Sri Lanka Office Country Director. “The contribution from KOICA for the Thriposha National Programme was extended with the objective of improving the nutritional status of vulnerable people, especially children and pregnant/lactating women who are disproportionately affected by Covid-19. KOICA stands in solidarity with the Government of Sri Lanka during this difficult time.”

This latest contribution forms part of the activities carried out by KOICA — the Official Grants Division to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea — in response to Covid-19. KOICA has been present in Sri Lanka for over two decades, with programmes that support a variety of sectors including education, health, rural development, water management and transportation. One such intervention is the “R5n” programme, a joint project conducted with WFP since 2019. “R5n” aims to improve the lives and livelihoods of rural smallholder farmers by strengthening their resilience to recurring climate shocks, especially drought. KOICA’s support for the procurement of maize to produce Thriposha complements its on-going assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka.

Covid-19 has brought about fresh challenges in the country, including an estimated rise in unemployment and reduced incomes. This affects a family’s ability to access nutritious food and threatens to have long-lasting impacts on the health and nutrition standards in the country. The Thriposha programme provides a readily accessible source of nutrition to mothers and children when they need it the most.

The Ministry of Health requested WFP’s support in ensuring a continuous supply of Thriposha. In response to this, WFP together with KOICA, arranged to provide funding to bolster the Thriposha programme and help safeguard the health and nutrition of women and children.

“WFP has been supporting the Thriposha programme for over a decade, as part of its efforts to improve nutrition standards in the country,” says Andrea Berardo, Deputy Country Director of WFP Sri Lanka, highlighting that Sri Lanka ranks among the countries with the highest rates of wasting, known as thinness, among children under 5 years of age (15 percent). “This latest contribution reflects our long-standing support to the government to not just treat, but also prevent these high rates of malnutrition and importantly, safeguard development gains made within the country.”

In 2021 and beyond, WFP will continue to work with the government to enhance the national health system as part of its efforts in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 of enhancing food security and improving nutrition in the country.

Continue Reading

Trending