Wednesday, August 15, 2018 10:20:30 PM

MMDA: Who is blocking reform of this discriminatory law?

By Ameer Faaiz - Sat Aug 11, 11:03 pm

Featured image by Hafsa Razi

Sri Lanka’s Muslim women are being denied family and other rights available to other women under this country’s constitution. The government committee set up nine years ago to reform the out-dated and discriminatory Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) has finally made its recommendations for change. But six months later, the government has taken no action. Why this urgently needed reform is being blocked is a mystery. Or is it?

The Report of the Justice Saleem Marsoof’s Committee on reforming the MMDA was handed over to the Ministry of Justice on 22nd January 2018. While the Minister of Justice, Thalatha Athukorale, deserves credit for having have persuaded the committee to conclude its deliberations and submit its report, that the Minister herself continued to sit on it without taking the reform forward remains a mystery, and speculations abound. The Ministry of Justice released the report on its website only on the 18th July, the day before Justice Marsoof was to explain the recommendations, including their variants, to Muslim MPs, on invitation….

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