Foreigners have to take NOC to marry a Sri Lankan citizen, a fuss over the decision

Colombo: If you are in love with a Sri Lankan citizen and are planning to get married, you must first obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense. The Lankan government has made it compulsory to take NOC for security reasons. However, the government’s decision has been criticized by the opposition and many civil society groups. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2022.

This decision has been taken keeping in mind the danger

The decision was taken due to security concerns, Registrar General Birsekera said in a circular issued on October 18. Authorities have discussed with foreigners the security threats posed to the marriages of Sri Lankan nationals, the statement said. It was then decided that such marriages could be registered through the Additional District Registrar after obtaining the security clearance of the foreign national.

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Opponents question – ‘Why this inequality’?

At the same time, the opposition has opened a front against this decision. MP Hersha de Silva has questioned the decision and questioned what kind of discrimination it is. Many associated with civic organizations have opposed the move on social media. The statement said the security clearance would prove whether the foreign party had been convicted of a crime in the previous six months.

Officials argued in defense

On the other hand, government officials say the decision is important to protect locals from foreigners cheating in the name of marriage, as well as to keep an eye on the growing drug smuggling in the country on the pretext of marriage. He said the decision was taken with national security in mind and there was no discrimination. The government has made NOC compulsory according to the concerns and dangers that have been expressed.

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