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International relations

Marrying a Sri Lankan? You'll need the Defense Ministry's blessing

Policy aimed at protecting citizens' 'safety' draws widespread ridicule

Sri Lankans must get approval from the Defense Ministry to wed foreigners under a legal rule issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's government. (Source photos by Yuji Kuronuma and Reuters)

COLOMBO -- Nithya Jayakody, a Sri Lankan citizen, was busy making elaborate plans with her European fiance for a grand wedding in Sri Lanka in August this year, but her nuptials were dealt a serious setback after the government announced in late December that starting Jan. 1, all marriages between Sri Lankans and foreigners must be approved by the country's Defense Ministry.

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