ECONOMYNEXT- Detained Sri Lanka former minister Rishard Bathiudeen may be in double trouble after a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly working as a maid at his Colombo residence succumbed to burn injuries on Thursday (July 15).
Bathiudeen is already detained by the police over alleged connections to the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide bombers.
Police media spokesman Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) Ajith Rohana said the teenage girl had died upon admission to the National Hospital in Colombo.
“The girl is 16 years and eight months old,” he said.
Borella police have launched an investigation and 10 statements have already been recorded, he said.
According to Rohana, the teenager was a resident of Dayagama and had come to work as a maid at the former minister’s house nine months ago.
“The autopsy of the girl was performed yesterday night and the report will be released later today,” he said
In January 2021, Sri Lanka raised the minimum age of employment from 14 to 16 following an amendment to the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act No. 47 of 1956.
The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said the decision was based on an earlier decision to extend the age of compulsory education to 16 years, which was made under the Education Ordinance’s regulations pertaining to compulsory education.
With the new change in the law, children between the ages of 16 and 18 years can only be recruited for jobs that do not pose a threat to their life, health, education and moral development, and it is strictly not allowed to recruit them for unsafe jobs or jobs that require them to work at night.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Defence Ministry refused to grant former minister Bathiudeen’s request that he be restricted to his home from his current Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detention.
Deputy Solicitor General Madhawa Tennakoon appearing for the Attorney General made these remarks when the two Fundamental Rights petitions filed on behalf of former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and his brother Riyaj Bathiudeen were taken up for support at the Supreme Court, according to media reports. (Colombo/Jul16/2021)