Polygamy in Sri Lanka

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While polygamy is illegal in Sri Lanka, Muslim men take up to four wives. Like most countries that allow for polygamous unions, the husband must notify his first wife prior to taking additional wives.[1] Polyandry is also protected under the law for Muslims and non-Muslims.[2][3][4]

Polygamy and polyandry also have a history in the country and were practiced within the royal family till the end of colonial period.[5]


  1. ^ Sri Lanka: Family Code
  2. ^ Weber, Stephanie (December 16, 2015). "Yes, There Is a Marriage Practice Where Women Have Multiple Husbands". Modern Notion. Retrieved 26 November 2016. In Sri Lanka, however, polyandry is actually protected under law. Under the Kandyan Marriage Law, women are permitted to be married to multiple men. In modern Sri Lanka, the practice often starts with a monogamous relationship that then expands with a partner of the wife’s choosing. 
  3. ^ http://www.commonlii.org/lk/legis/consol_act/mad132209.pdf
  4. ^ Zeitzen, Miriam (Apr 1, 2008). Polygamy: A Cross-Cultural Analysis. Berg. p. 64. ISBN 9781847883711. 
  5. ^ L.S. Dewaraja. "The Position of Women in Buddhism". Buddhist Publication Society. Retrieved 2 June 2014.