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SLMA calls for action against all those involved in rape of child



The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), along with the SLMA Women’s Health Committee, has urged the authorities to enforce the law against all those who were involved in the rape and exploitation of a 15-year old girl, irrespective of their rank or position.

The SLMA has, in a media statement, said: It is reported that a total of 34 suspects have been arrested over the sale of the 15-year-old girl, including a former Maldivian State Minister, a specialist cardiologist attached to the Navy, the victim’s mother, another woman, the person who prepared the advertisement, a three-wheeler driver, a car driver, a hotel manager, and 17 suspects who purchased the girl online including the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha Deputy Chairman, a leading gem businessman, a monk, a ship captain, and crew members, among others.

“The first arrest which led to the uncovering of the plight of the girl was of a man in Mount Lavinia on 7th of June over suspicion of having sold the girl via a website. The man was charged with sexually assaulting the girl over the Internet and was remanded after being produced before the Moratuwa Magistrate’s Court. The Police has said that the girl had been sold to various people for Rs. 10,000, Rs. 15,000, and Rs. 30,000 each for about three months.

“The SLMA Expert Committee on Women’s Health Chairperson and the members stated that the shortcomings in the implementation of Sri Lanka’s child protection laws must be rectified. Those who have been found guilty should be given maximum punishment, irrespective of their status, under the available legal framework.

“It is the paramount duty of any country to protect its defenseless children. The existing laws in Sri Lanka are adequate to ensure such protection and there is no lacuna in the law.

“However, there are shortcomings in the implementation of these laws.

“As per Article 360 of the Penal Code, anyone who engages in child abuse can be either imprisoned for more than 10 years or fined, or both. The Penal Code as amended, the Obscene Publications Ordinance as amended, the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act as amended, the Children and Young Persons Ordinance as amended, and the Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Law as amended are a part of Sri Lanka’s domestic legal framework for the protection of children. Having sexual relations with a child below 16 years of age, with or without consent, constitutes statutory rape. The procreation and trafficking of persons are offenses as per provisions of the Penal Code amendments in 1995 and 2006.

“The SLMA wishes the parents of minors to be familiar with the law and not to be hesitant to take legal action against all those who indulge into this sort of behaviour harassing innocent children of the nation. The law enforcement officers should be more vigilant on these issues and act more effectively. Both boys and girls should be empowered with access to comprehensive sexual responsibility and relationship education thereby minimize the risk of sexual violence and abuse.

“The SLMA, led by its President Dr. Padma Gunaratne, a leading female professional, has been the national umbrella body that brings together all medical professionals across the country from 1887 and remains the focal point of promoting the interests of the medical profession.”

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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused



By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?



By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.



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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas



By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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