Matale District SLPP MP Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon yesterday handed over the first private member Bill in 9th Parliament to Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dassanayake to set the minimum age of marriage of Sri Lankan Children at 18.
In the Bill titled ‘Minimum Age of Marriage’, MP Tennakoon said the Bill’s intention is to ensure that the State fulfils its national and international obligations to protect the rights of every child in the country.
“Children must be treated as children and this Bill’s intention is not to marginalise anyone,” he said.
He further said Sri Lanka is a party to the Convention for Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) under which Sri Lanka has the obligation to introduce a standard minimum age of 18 without exception for all children regardless of religion and personal statute laws. “A standard age will guarantee and protect the rights of all Sri Lankan children,” he said and gave special acknowledgement to former MP Dr. Thusitha Wijemanna who took steps to formulate policies in this regard in the 8th parliament.