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Thursday, 23 February 2017 - 11:09
Widespread sexual abuse of women in Sri Lanka to be tackled
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A special panel to thwart and tackle widespread sexual abuse and exploitation of women including thousands of war widows will be set up by Sri Lanka, the Government stated on Wednesday, according to latest news reports.

The establishment of a new National Commission on Women comes amid warnings that women from the Tamil minority are facing widespread sexual exploitation by officials in their own community as well as from the military.

The special panel will have powers of prosecution, the Government said issuing a statement.

Last week, former president Chandrika Kumaratunga said that women faced sexual abuse from local officials, with those widowed during the 37-year long conflict in particular at risk.

Many have struggled in the aftermath of the war to obtain identity papers and birth certificates which are essential in order to obtain government handouts and other aid.

Prosecuting military personnel or officials for sex crimes is rare in Sri Lanka, even though just one year after the war ended, four soldiers were jailed in 2010 for 25 years found guilty of gang raping a young Tamil mother.

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