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Sri Lanka

A high percentage of Sri Lankan Muslim families get their girls married off before they attain 18 - the statutory age of marriage in Sri Lanka, according a new study entitled: Unequal Citizens: Muslim Women’s Struggle for Justice and Equality written by Hyshyama Hamin and Hasanah Cegu Isadeen. 

 

Sri Lanka has in some circles been considered a model of post-colonial gender equality compared to its South Asian counterparts due to high literacy rates for men and women, 97.7 and 98.6 respectively, universal franchise for both sexes as early as 1931, and two female state leaders.  Sri Lanka’s long history of free and compulsory education for boys and girls which was achieved shortly after independence, and girls’ equal access to education and gender parity in all three levels (primary, secondary, and tertiary) of education has been an important contributing factor to this idea of gender equality.

 

However, the party says it has to exceed the limit now because there is a rush for membership. This is a party formed with the blessings of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is expected to be led by him at one point. However, for the time being, Mr. Rajapaksa has not made any public commitment to that effect publicly.

 

However, to get them off the ground, one needs money and we should not antagonize those with deep pockets. The simple logic in international relations is that countries take decisions driven by their self-interest, mindful of their placement in the international system, and existing and unfolding power configurations within the system.    

 
 

Last month, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Colombo that the country's new constitution, currently being framed by a steering committee of parliamentarians, will protect the special place accorded to Buddhism in the existing document.

 

A call to amend Muslim Personal Law in Sri Lanka has sparked a debate within the community, with some seeking change “from within” and others pushing for a broader constitutional reform.

 

Mr. Weerawansa cannot heed the advice. He and his Rajapaksa masters have a future only if Sri Lanka succumbs to the ills of the past. It is only if Lankan people return to the mire of paranoia and phobia and Lankan leaders ignore science, abandon sense and embrace superstitious cures and dictatorial solutions, the Rajapaksa dream of regaining power can become reality.

 
The Sri Lanka that Koralegadara Pushpakumara conjures in his art, is not seen in idyllic tourist guides, and it is far removed from the sanitised discussions of state officials. This is an aesthetic imagination of Lanka at the cusp of romance and reality, neatly blending his personal experiences with public history.  
 

A peaceful society does not have much need for terror-related laws. But this is not the case with Sri Lanka. Having suffered at the hands of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for decades, it has formulated a draft anti-terror law, called the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). This is under consideration. The draft seeks to strengthen anti-terrorism mechanisms while ensuring that the innocent do not caught in the process. It is important to understand why Colombo has been in a hurry to pass a terror-related law when the LTTE is no more an imminent threat to its stability and peace initiatives.

 

It is clear that the country should have a well-established national policy on tourism focusing on ecotourism as it is identified as one of the main subsets of the tourism sector.  The country lacks a well-built protection system for tourism, including ecotourism; this may lead to exploitation by outsiders when natural resources are open for sightseeing and exploration. Therefore, when promoting tourism, it is important to identify and devise ways and means to strengthen customary laws for the protection of traditional knowledge and natural resources of the community from exploitation by outsiders.

 


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