muslim wifeIn Sri Lanka, though many people believe the minimum age of marriage is 12, the reality is worse. In fact there is no minimum age of marriage for Sri Lankan Muslim girls! Currently there is a discussion on raising it to 18 to be on par with the rest of the country. This proposal has met with stubborn resistance from the clergy body the All Ceylon  Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) which appears to have appointed itself as the sole authority to declare, the yea or nay decision with regard to this and other reforms pertaining to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act.

zuhair pcWhy the SSA and Schubert are seeking to give fresh credibility to a canard that never merited any investigation by the Police or other authorities?

The Social Scientists’ Association (SSA) has put out a paper prepared by its Senior Researcher Andi Schubert containing inaccurate assumptions and attempting to give mileage to false fears, published in the Daily Mirror of April 5, 2017 under the heading “The Sexual Politics of the MMDA Debate”.

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Calculated Move to Prevent Muslim Refugees from returning to their lands?

On Friday 24 March 2017 President Maithripala Sirisena signed a gazette notification, during his official visit to Russia, declaring around 100,000 acre lands adjacent to Wilpattu National Park as “forest conserves”.

The inevitable question is why it was signed in Russia in such mighty hurry as if the whole world was coming to an end. Why didn’t he sign it in Sri Lanka. This controversial gazette, signed without taking into consideration the rights of Muslims refugees from the area, has caused serious concern among Muslim and triggered an unwanted controversy at a time when the country faces several acute political, economic and social crises.

ACJUWe, the undersigned, find the recent statements of the Chairperson of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), that reform of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) is not needed, to be unacceptable. It is patently clear that the ACJU has contributed to the 8-year delay in the reform process despite the desperate need for substantive reform of this law. 

ACJUWAN is a collective of eight women’s organizations working in the North and East. ACJU’s extreme and rigid position has also radicalized Muslim youth, making them believe that the MMDA reflects Sharia law and therefore cannot be touched. WAN calls on the government to intervene and lay down non-negotiable conditions for reform, such as setting a minimum age of marriage for all citizens at 18, and ensuring state-salaried positions are open to women