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Govt committed to build law-abiding society - President
Monday, October 04, 2010 - 05.05 GMT

The government is committed to develop the nation and build a law-abiding society. We will punish those who commit offences according to law regardless of their status or position. Law is equal to all, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He made this statement addressing a gathering in Polonnaruwa during a visit to the area on Saturday (2 Oct).

We have been falsely accused of various offences. Some even try to take us to the international tribunal. We have taken all decisions considering the will of the people, he said.

We are committed to win this economic war. Our aspiration is to bring contentment to the people. If you are not happy, then development is not achieved, stated the President.

After nearly three decades of war, this country is united. In the past, a part of this area was under terrorists. Now, opportunity is there for people to live without fear. In the past people in these areas faced a lot of hardship due to terrorism. Now we have been able to completely do away with the notion of ‘border villages’, the President added.

In the past, the people of this area provided rice for the entire nation. We will take all necessary steps to make this district as prosperous as before. We will provide all facilities to all sectors functioning in the area including farming, he said.

Meanwhile, during a progress review meeting with the North Central Province administrators and other state politicians, President Rajapaksa instructed authorities to take strict action against Marriage Registrars who sanction underage marriages. He told that there should be no more child brides in the country.

If found guilty, relevant Marriage Registrars should be stripped of their duties in addition to initiating legal action to impose further penalties, he added.

He brought to the notice of the gathering written complaints and pictures received from the public as evidence that such underage marriages exist.

President Rajapaksa highlighted certain information he had received on child brides in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa. He said that he had received information that in the area, there were a large number of married female children under the age of 15.

He said that Marriage Registrars should not just stick to documents produced by applicants but to verify age and other details.

He told officials of the Women’s and Children’s Affairs Ministry to map out an effective program both in awareness and prevention to eradicate the scourge. 



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