Any foreigner who wants to marry a Sri Lankan woman must get a clearance from the country’s defense ministry. The decision was taken for security reasons, the country’s authorities said.
The new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2022, despite criticism from opposition and civil society leaders.
Sri Lanka’s Registrar General WMMB Weresekera said in a circular on October 16 that the decision was taken due to the country’s national security.
According to the information provided by them, the concerned officials said that marriage between foreigners and Sri Lankans could lead to national security issues.
It further said that only after getting the ‘security clearance report’ for the marriage can the marriage be registered at the Additional District Registrar’s Office. That said, the security clearance report will prove that the foreign party was free from conviction for any crime in the last six months.
Opposition leaders and members of the country’s civil society have been sharply critical of the decision. Various discussions are also going on through social media. The country’s lawmaker Harsh de Silva says, what kind of discrimination is this?
The country’s government officials say the move is needed to prevent locals from being cheated on by foreigners in their marriages. The law will also be able to monitor the increase in drug smuggling.