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Last updated: 16 September, 2005 - Published 13:57 GMT
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Sri Lanka amends consent law
Age of consent to be changed
'Many youngsters are in custody due to encounters with girlfriends'
The cabinet of ministers in Sri Lanka have decided to amend the current laws to reduce the age of consent.

Justice Minister John Senevirathne said the government is proposing to reduce the age of consent of the girls for sexual encounters to 13 years.

The younger generation in Sri Lanka, he said, are increasingly becoming aware of sexual relationships.

According to the new amendment, the Attorney General (AG) will have the power to decide whether a young man under the age of 21 has actually raped a girl or the sexual encounter happened with the consent of the teenage girl, the minister added.

He told BBC Sandeshaya ( that the government is concerned of the increased number of young men detained in remand prisons as a result of sexual encounters with their girlfriends.

He said: “Many girls are requesting to release them saying the encounter happened with their consent.”

Any sexual encounter with a girl under the age of 16 is currently considered as a rape in Sri Lanka.

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