Private Members’ bill to ammend Marriage act

Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thero has drafted two Private Members’ Bills to repeal the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act and to incorporate all marriages under the Marriage (General) Act.

The two bills are due to be tabled in Parliament in the near future.

One of these was presented as a Private Members’ Bill to repeal the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act No. 13 of 1951. Athuraliye Ratana Thera has also drafted the other Bill to amend the Marriage Act No. 19 of 1907.

With the enactment of these two Bills the provisions of the Marriage (General) Act will apply to all marriages in Sri Lanka.

In parallel, another Private Members’ Bill has been drafted by the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on Women and Gender, Kegalle District MP, Thusitha Wijemanne.

The bill aims to introduce the minimum age for marriage in Sri Lanka as 18 years. The Act would also apply to “Marriages under the Kandyan Law and the Muslim Law of Sri Lanka.”

MP Wijemanna’s bill was aimed at preventing child marriages and thus, under the proposed provision, a person convicted of “conducting, directing, operating or supporting any child marriage” would be sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment and a fine not exceeding Rs. 100,000.

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