Sri Lanka probes 'longest saree' wedding for using child labour

Our Foreign Staff
The Sri Lankan wedding couple walk along a road as as a bride attempts to set a record for the longest wedding saree - AFP
The Sri Lankan wedding couple walk along a road as as a bride attempts to set a record for the longest wedding saree - AFP

A Sri Lankan couple is under investigation for deploying hundreds of school children to carry the train of the bride's saree during a wedding ceremony, authorities said Friday.

About 250 students of a state-owned school carried the train of the two-mile long saree worn by the bride as she and the groom walked down a main road in the central district of Kandy on Thursday, local media reported.

Another 100 students served as flower girls at the wedding.

The students were from a school named after Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayaka who was a special guest at the wedding, according to media reports, which said the saree was the longest ever worn by a bride in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan children carry a wedding saree as a bride attempts to set a record for the longest wedding saree - Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images
Sri Lankan children carry a wedding saree as a bride attempts to set a record for the longest wedding saree Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said it was probing the incident. "We have started an investigation," NCPA Chairman Marini de Livera said.

"We are going all out because we don't want this to become a trend."

23 reasons to visit Sri Lanka
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De Livera said deploying students for such ceremonies during school hours was against the law, with violators facing up to 10 years in prison.

"What they (the wedding party) did is a violation of child rights," de Livera said. "Depriving children of education, risking their security and harming their dignity are criminal offences."