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Protest over death and sexual assault of teenage domestic worker

Photo credit (Twitter: @PragasGnanam)

Protesters in Colombo on Thursday demanded the arrest of the perpetrators who sexually abused a 16-year-old girl who reportedly committed suicide by setting herself on fire.

The girl had worked for MP and former minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s residence prior to her death.

Photo credit (Twitter: @PragasGnanam)

Protesters urged authorities to launch a formal investigation after the postmortem report revealed sexual abuse. MP V. Radhakrishnan stressed that it was the responsibility of the authorities to protect the hundreds of minors employed in Colombo

Senior Deputy Inspector General Ajith Rohana said the girl was hired as a domestic worker at the MP’s residence at the age of 15. She was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital in early July after setting herself on fire and died 12 days later. 

In January the minimum age of employment in Sri Lanka was raised to 16, but employing ‘young persons’ between the ages of 16-18 are subject to restrictions following an amendment to the Employment of Women Young Persons Children Act of 1956. 

Photo credit (Twitter: @PragasGnanam)

The Borella Police and the Children and Women Bureau of the Sri Lanka Police are conducting further investigations following the autopsy report.

MP Rishad Bathiudeen was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on April 24 in connection to the Easter Sunday attacks under the Sri Lanka's widely condemned Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). On Wednesday the Defence Minister refused to grant Bathiudeen’s request that he be restricted to his home from CID detention.

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