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* Sri Lankan minister calls for death penalty for rapists
Sun, Jan 6, 2013, 01:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Child Development and Women's Affairs Minister Tissa Karalliyadde has said that the death penalty should be enforced for individuals found guilty of rape.

According to Karalliyadde his Ministry was holding discussions with the Attorney General's Department to introduce tougher laws for persons found guilty of rape.

He has explained that most often a child rape victim is reluctant to go before court since rape cases drag in court for about six to seven years.

The Minister has pointed out that discussions with the Attorney General were also focused on expediting the hearing of rape cases in court.

The media is also needed to be mindful when reporting about rape incidents and the cases, the Minister noted.

Women's and Children's right activists in Sri Lanka called for the death penalty for the rapists following several rapes of underage girls by ruling party politicians were reported last year.

In July last year, a ruling party member of the Tangalle Urban Council has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl repeatedly at an inn in the southern beach town of Tangalle.

In a separate incident, another ruling party politician in the southern town of Akuressa in Matara district was jailed over allegations that he raped a 14 year old girl.

Despite tough laws in existence, child molestations have been alarmingly on the rise in Sri Lanka, since the punishments are not imposed strictly, especially when politicians are involved in the crimes, child rights groups point out.

** Related Story :: Child rapes in Sri Lanka rising, 700 cases in six months

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