Sri Lanka records rise in rapes of children
Over 700 incidents of rape or abuse of children were reported during the first six months of this year.
Colombo: Sri Lanka has seen a rise in the number of underage children being raped or abused this year, the police said on Thursday.
Over 700 incidents of rape or abuse of children were reported during the first six months of this year, police spokesperson Ajith Rohana told Xinhua.
He said this was out of a total of around 900 complaints received by the police this year of women and children being raped or abused.
In the latest incident, a politician in the southern town of Akuressa was jailed on Wednesday over allegations he raped a girl of 14 years.
Also on Wednesday in the southern town of Tangalle, 19 people were arrested following a complaint that they had raped an underage girl over a period of time.
Last year, the police recorded over 1,700 incidents of rape and abuse involving children and women, of which around 1,160 were child abuse and rape cases, Rohana said.
Rohana said the increase in access to computers, internet and mobile phones has assisted in the rise of rape incidents in Sri Lanka.
He also said that incidents of child rape involving close relatives of the victims also are being reported.
Over the past few months, the police have also been reported incidents of underage children being molested or raped by their lovers.
Under the law, children under the age of 18 cannot get married.
The police spokesperson said the rise in the number of rape cases shows the need to amend laws on rape offenders.