Women campaigners and activists have expressed concerns over a rise in the number of child rape cases in Sri Lanka involving the county's own government officials, according to a report.
Recently, a 13-year-old girl in Sri Lanka has identified four men, including a local government politician whom she accused of gang-raping her in the south of the country last month.
AdvertisementThe incident is one of a series of alleged rapes, especially involving children, have been reported in alarming numbers. Police officials claim that over 700 minors have been victims since January.
According to The BBC, although no one has been tried yet, suspects in several cases include politicians from Sri Lanka's governing United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition.
To date, 22 suspects have been remanded in the case of the 13-year-old girl, which also includes the urban councillor from the town of Tengalle, a millionaire businessman and owners or managers of several hotels.
In another incident, the UPFA head of the local council in the southern town of Akuressa has been remanded for alleged abuse of a girl, 14, at a guesthouse owned by him.
The Women and Media Collective (WMC), a campaign group, has reportedly denounced the alleged crimes, saying Sri Lanka is a society where "perpetrators of heinous crimes against women and children can live with little fear of the law".
Child Development and Women's Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadda claimed that he has drawn up a draft letter tightening up laws against child abuse, including possible death sentences.