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Not an offence to earn a living by prostitution: Fort Magistrate

18 February 2020 09:31 pm - 29     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake acquitting a woman arrested in a brothel on charges of prostitution said it was not considered an offence in Sri Lanka for a woman to earn a living through prostitution but however it was an offence to operate a brothel.

Citing two major superior court judgments (Saibo vs Chellam and Coore vs James Appu), he said, “prostitution is not an offence per se under our law” and that the Vagrants Ordinance and the Brothel Ordinance are the laws that govern prostitution in Sri Lanka.

The Magistrate said, the Vagrants Ordinance only deals with a prostitute when she is behaving in a riotous or disorderly manner in any public street or highway (Sections 2 and 9) while the Brothel Ordinance provides punishment against any person who keeps or manages or acts or assists in the management of a brothel (Section 2).

He said there were no prevailing laws in Sri Lanka since colonial times against a woman who independently engaged in prostitution as a means of earning a living and acquitted the woman who was arrested in the brothel because her act was not recognized as an offence under the Vagrants Ordinance and the Brothel Ordinance.

Considering the possibility that such a woman could be charged for aiding and abetting the management in operating the brothel, the Magistrate said, “a woman, who is kept in a brothel for purpose of consorting with men cannot be charged for assisting in the management of the brothel (Abeykoon vs Kulatunga)” (Shehan Chamika Silva)

  Comments - 29

  • Anmanpan Tuesday, 18 February 2020 09:34 PM

    Totally agree with this judgment. It looks like sanity is returning to the judiciary. I hope the joker in yellow and multicoloured fancy dress keep their gabs shut.

    S.P.Ramkumar Tuesday, 18 February 2020 10:25 PM

    "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast stone" - Jesus of Nazareth. Remember all countrymen we have to wipe out Poverty from this Land.

    womernizer Tuesday, 18 February 2020 10:45 PM

    very good judgment.i know many so called prostitutes who are forced to do it to feed their small children.they are very good women.the brothel oweners who exploite These poor woman shold be sent to prison for a Long time.i do not visit brothels.they,the women visit me and we are like friends.

    Kumar Tuesday, 18 February 2020 11:02 PM

    I am certain this Magistrate was a good Lawyer before his appointment to the bench. In Sri Lanka like in most countries, 99.99% of the Magistrates and Judges were incompetent Lawyers with not much criminal or civil practices, but through political connections become Judicial Officers. It has to be made mandatory that only top Lawyers can apply to become Magistrates and Judges.

    Tamil Tuesday, 18 February 2020 11:05 PM

    Let us start a campaign in earnest for Mr Ranga Dissanayake to be our next President. I am appealing to my fellow Tamils,Sinhalese,Muslims ,and Burghers.

    sanjeewa Wednesday, 19 February 2020 12:01 AM

    A landmark judgement. police is trying to stop the oldest profession for political mileages now a days. Base on this wise judgement, the government should try to regulate it. When this trade go underground women and girls are the worst victims.

    Martin Milton Wednesday, 19 February 2020 12:32 AM

    What?? Great news for some I suppose! MM

    W.Katugampola Wednesday, 19 February 2020 12:34 AM

    Excellent interpretation of law.Congradulation to the judge and victory for women's rights

    Rajkumar Nagarajah Wednesday, 19 February 2020 01:41 AM

    Great judgement. access to sex is a huge problem in our country and in my opinion it should be legalized and regularized and the sex workers should be respected.

    haris wijayasiri Wednesday, 19 February 2020 03:12 AM

    Well said your honour.............

    Neil Wednesday, 19 February 2020 03:40 AM

    It is a more honorable job than what the 225 crooks in our parliament are doing. They don't rob the poor tax payers money in trillions unlike the crooks.

    Gamarala Wednesday, 19 February 2020 05:41 AM

    Well said, an enlightened judgement.

    Borat Wednesday, 19 February 2020 07:02 AM

    Very good judgement. It is the brothel keepers who exploit the women in dire straits

    Mm Wednesday, 19 February 2020 07:06 AM

    Ahh really! Now we know why some behave like prostitutes.

    lokuB Wednesday, 19 February 2020 04:28 PM

    Yes and they are all in parliament.

    mnsmart Wednesday, 19 February 2020 08:08 AM

    Great judgement, Police only produce the women not the owners

    Udaya Wednesday, 19 February 2020 09:20 AM

    the 2500 years, anyway

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 19 February 2020 10:38 AM

    Salutations Magistrate Ranga for determining the correct lineage of the law.

    Sokrates Wednesday, 19 February 2020 10:51 AM

    Finally a judge who gets the country out of the prudish Victorian morals and doesn't allow to influence his judgment by the bigoted men in orange who preach an outdated morality but sexually abuse little boys.

    Yehiya Wednesday, 19 February 2020 10:54 AM

    If can refund all past punishment compensations

    neil alwis Wednesday, 19 February 2020 01:01 PM

    politicians especially ministers must be happy.

    DillonDP Wednesday, 19 February 2020 01:41 PM

    Totally a fare judgement, the lady should claim damages from the police for harassment, they didn't know the basic law

    SAMSON MUNASINGHE Wednesday, 19 February 2020 03:44 PM


    Another Prostitute Wednesday, 19 February 2020 04:31 PM

    Everyone should be able to use their natural skills to earn a buck. If you are a skilled doctor, treat the sick. If you are skilled at giving someone an orgasm, give them the best orgasm! Well done Magistrate.

    Another Prostitute Wednesday, 19 February 2020 04:31 PM

    Everyone should be able to use their natural skills to earn a buck. If you are a skilled doctor, treat the sick. If you are skilled at giving someone an orgasm, give them the best orgasm! Well done Magistrate.

    Ajja Wednesday, 19 February 2020 05:25 PM

    Hip Hip Hooray!!!

    women freedom Wednesday, 19 February 2020 06:50 PM

    These women were fall into one of three categories: 1. Mother 2.Sister 3.Daughter I believe 100% non of them who commented above or even judge himself will never allow their own blood relations to adopt this way of earning money. Hope this will sum up, what i want to address the broader audience. I am not sure whether DM will publish this message!

    Seyed Niyaz Abdeen Thursday, 20 February 2020 03:12 PM

    Excellent judgment. A woman is selling what she has and cannot find anything wrong in this. Sex is a natural requirement by all who have come of age and in good health. the urge for sex is also the natural way to relieve high energy levels. I have always supported sex to the needy as it is also a natural theraphy. People, mostly males, have a greater need for sex than a woman. So let us enjoy sex with limitations as overindulgence in this activity can cause serious health problems.

    Mahila Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:09 PM

    The magistrate/judge determines, an outcome based on the Statute and existing Law of the Land emphatically; that’s his profiled mandate. Not judgements based on Emotions.

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