Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe recently disclosed a distressing truth regarding the backlog of cases in Magistrates’ courts throughout Sri Lanka. Shockingly, nearly one-third of these cases involve child abuse and rape, tarnishing the nation’s reputation and necessitating immediate action. Out of the 29,723 pending lawsuits, an alarming 5,550 cases are related to child abuse, while 4,312 cases involve rape. These offenses collectively make up 33 percent of the total cases, reflecting poorly on the cultural values of the nation and inviting scrutiny from other countries.
Expressing deep concern, Minister Rajapakshe called on Sri Lankans to feel a sense of shame and regret over this alarming situation. He highlighted the urgent need to combat these wrongdoings, which not only harm victims but also undermine the nation’s integrity. The government has enacted 25 laws in the past ten months to protect children, but the Minister acknowledged that cases of murder, attempted murder, and dangerous drugs also constitute a significant portion, totaling 6,661 cases or roughly 22 percent of the total.
Disturbingly, child abuse, rape, murder, attempted murder, and dangerous drugs collectively account for 55 percent of the pending cases before the Magistrates’ courts. This statistic further emphasizes the gravity of these issues and the immediate need for their resolution.
Additionally, Minister Rajapakshe drew attention to the overwhelming backlog in the judicial system, with a staggering 1,127,265 cases pending across Sri Lanka. He expressed concern over the insufficient number of judges available to handle this caseload, with only 399 judges assigned from the Supreme Court to the Magistrates’ courts.
These revelations have sparked outrage and concern among the public, indicating the urgent requirement for comprehensive and effective measures to combat child abuse, rape, and other serious crimes. It is imperative for the government, law enforcement agencies, and society as a whole to collaborate in protecting the vulnerable and ensuring justice for the victims. Immediate action must be taken to strengthen laws, allocate more resources, and promote awareness to create a safer environment for all Sri Lankans, free from the specter of such heinous offenses.