Gender-based violence remains a thorn in Sri Lanka’s attempt at making a safer environment for girls and women. Compounding the issue, societal norms and religious license to harm young girls make the entire scene a nightmare for the victims. A dubious religious law by the Muslim Marriage Board in Sri Lanka allows girls above the age of 12 to be married off to men. The girls’ consent is not required. To make matters worse, the laws in Sri Lankan governing marriage allow this practice. What the Taliban does to Afghan girls by forcing them to marry their fighters is condemned internationally. However, the same predatory practice has legal status in Sri Lanka, and the world chooses to look the other way.
Pray for God’s children in the Sri Lankan legislature to bring laws to ban these barbaric practices that seek to harm children and traumatize them for life (The Bible, Proverbs 31:8-9).
Pray for the emotional healing of the victims brutalized by this heinous tradition in the name of religion. Pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort them (The Bible, Psalms 138:7).
Sri Lanka’s long history in Buddhism seems to have lost its essence in recent years with many violent campaigns against minorities. Sri Lankan Tamils, Christians, and Muslims face persecution from the Buddhist majority community. Over a million tourists arrive in Sri Lanka annually. Home to eight World Heritage sites, the country is a scenic South Asian destination renowned for its cuisine, culture, breathtaking sceneries, and rich history. In recent years, a mistimed ban on fertilizers created a massive food shortage. Eventually, Sri Lanka missed payments and came alarmingly close to bankruptcy. The IMF, India, and a few other international players played crucial roles in preventing such a situation. The economic recovery is slow.