Jan 08, Colombo: Over 80 percent of rape cases reported in Sri Lanka in the first eleven months of last year were of girls under the age of 16, according to the police.
Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said 1,854 rape cases have been reported during the first eleven months of 2015.
He added that the police were able to solve 1,717 of the cases reported last year while 1,911 cases were resolved out of the 2008 reported in 2014.
Out of the reported cases, in 1,501 cases, the victims were girls under the age of 16 years and 1,209 or 80 percent of them had willingly engaged in intimate relationships.
The police spokesman stressed that any sexual relationship with a minor under the age of 16 is an offense considered as statutory rape except in the case of Muslim marriages where the law on statutory rape is not applicable.
According to Section 363 (e) of the Penal Code as amended by Act. No. 22 of 1995, in cases where the girl is below the age of 16, sexual intercourse with consent is also considered rape. Proof of the act of intercourse is sufficient to prove rape. Legal age of marriage is now 18 years for all Sri Lankans except for Muslims.
However, in the case of Muslims, the law on statutory rape is not applicable to a person legally married under the age of 16 years who engages in sexual intercourse with her husband.
ASP Gunasekara said society as a whole should take responsibility for the situation and parent, especially should be more careful about their children.
However, sociologists say the lack of sex education in schools and lack of communication between the parents and the child are to blame for the situation.