Call To Amend Muslim Marriage and Divorce Law Sparks Debate In Sri Lanka

Call To Amend Muslim Marriage and Divorce Law Sparks Debate In Sri Lanka
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Representatives of the Sri Lanka Jamaithul Ulema, Muslim intellectuals and members of the government-appointed committee on Muslim personal law reform, are to meet for two days beginning Friday, to discuss reform of the controversial Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951.

The initiator of the move, Azad Salley, who heads of the National Unity Front has stated that since the issue involves aspects of the inviolable Sharia law, it has to be considered very carefully by the best minds in the Muslim community.  Reform of the MMDA, especially in respect of the age of marriage and appointment of female Quazis has been under discussion from 2009 onwards, when the then Justice Minister, Milinda Moragoda, set up a committee under retired Justice Saleem Marsoof to go into the question and suggest remedies. But the Marsoof panel is yet to submit its report.

“Justice Marsoof has promised to circulate the report among the members of the committee formed by DAM so that they can come to an informed decision,” Salley said.

Urgency in the matter arose after the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government announced that the MMDA has to be in line with international human rights covenants so that Sri Lanka is able to get the European Union’s trade concessions under the GSP-Plus scheme for developing countries.

There is a long-pending demand for reform of the Personal Law in Sri Lanka within the Muslim community, according to Vijay Nagaraj, head of research at Law and Society Trust, a Colombo-based legal research firm. A committee that was set up by the government in 2009 to look into the matter is yet to come out with any report.

Related News:

Muslim Marriage And Divorce Act To Be Amended

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