The ministry of Justice had earlier appointed a committee of 17 eminent representatives of the Muslim community under the leadership of former Supreme Court Judge, Saleem Marsoof to make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act. This report has still not been released.
The Muslim Council however said it is deeply concerned about the statement made by Sagala Ratnayake, the Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development at the cabinet media briefing on 26th November 26th 2016 that the reforms to the Muslim Marriages and Divorce Act has to be enacted as part of the conditions to regain the GSP Plus concessions from the European community.
“There is certainly a need ammend the Muslim Marriages and Divorce Act, but this has to be done in consultation with the Muslim religious leadership and the Muslim community in Sri Lanka and not at the dictates of the European Union or the International Community. The demand by the international community to intervene in a religious issue could cause irreparable damage to co-existence in Sri Lanka,” the Muslim Council said.
Similarly, the Muslim Council says there is widespread concern that the North and Eastern provinces would be merged by the current administration to accommodate the demands of the international community.
“The foreign policy of the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe administration should not be on the dictates of the International Community but in the best interest of the citizens of this country,” the Muslim Council added.
The Muslim Council urged the Government to address the concerns of the Muslims through a consultation process with Muslim political, religious and Civil Society leadership. (Colombo Gazette)