Sri Lanka: Women and case of Thesawalamai

The Island
Although this article is not about Muslim laws, the issues it raises apply to women's engagement with the law and the impact of customary practices across diverse countries and communities.
WLUML adds that there are three main ethnic/religious communities in Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese, the Tamils and Muslims. In most matters of Family Law and Property in Sri Lanka, different laws apply to the various religious and ethnic communities.
Thus the Muslim minority is governed by the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act 1951, up country Sinhalese are governed by Kandyan Law, and the Tamil Hindu population from the northern province is governed by a body of customary law known as Thesawalamai in relation to property matters. All others are governed by the general law, influenced by Roman-Dutch law and English law. There is no option to choose which set of Laws will apply to one except in the case of Kandyans who can opt to be governed by the general law if the marriage is contracted under general law.

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