July 06, Colombo: Following distressing reports of rising child abuse and rape incidents in the country this year, the Sri Lankan government is considering further strengthening laws on child abusers and rapists.
Cabinet Spokesperson and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has said that child abuse and rape were serious issues that should be addressed.
He has observed that stern laws need to be enforced to prevent incidents of child abuse and rape from increasing further.
Expressing his views on the alleged involvement of Southern Province politicians in several incidents of rape of underage girls, the Minister said the government will punish those proven guilty irrespective of their political stature.
Sri Lanka police reports said there were over 700 child rape incidents in the first six months alone of this year.
The Minister has explained that stern laws would create a fear among potential abusers as wells as the society on the whole.
Rambukwella has admitted that there have been requests to re-enforce the death penalty to punish those found guilty of child abuse and rape.
However, he has said that the government has not decided on re-enforcing the death penalty.
The child rights activists meanwhile say although the tougher laws are already in books politically influenced culprits escape arrests or get away with lighter sentences.
Recently there were several incidents of sexually molesting underage girls by local politicians in power.
The activists say most of the offenders get out on bail and repeats the crimes. They call for authorities to make rape a non-bailable offense.