Sri Lankan PM endorses amendments to Muslim Marriages and Divorces Act

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - Prime Minister endorses the proposal on amendments to the Muslim Marriages and Divorces Act forwarded by Muslim MPs, amidst opposition from community. 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had endorsed the 11- point proposal on amendments to the Muslim Marriages and Divorces Act (MMDA) put forward by the Muslim MPs, a senior government MP said. The Muslim MPs met the PM on Wednesday to discuss the proposals.
The proposed amendment to the MMDA was handed over to Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale, on Monday. MP A. H. M Fowzie said that among the 11-points was a proposal to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18.
Fowzie said those amendments were expected to resolve issues concerning the legal age for marriage, as established by the Act. The proposed amendments would be submitted to Parliament after obtaining Cabinet approval, he added.
During the discussion, it was agreed that some sections of MMDA needed to be amended. The proposals comprise 11 amendments to the Act including the legal age for a Muslim marriage.
The other reforms include that the bride should sign the Register of Marriage as a sign of her consent, upgrading the required qualification of a Quazi to Attorney-at-Law and permitting the appointment of female Quazis (women who will adjudicate family law of Muslims).
A spokesperson for ACJU however said Muslim MPs had ignored the earlier proposals submitted by ACJU and made some proposals in an ad hoc manner.
"They are doing what they want. There are some violations of sharia, especially with regards to appointing female Quazi judges. This is not the time to come up with these proposals," the spokesperson added.

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