The standing committee of the third people's congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region recently adopted modifications or supplementary articles for the implementation of the Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China. It adopted a decision stipulating that the modifications would come into effect next year together with the law.
In the light of local conditions, the modifications stipulate that no marriage shall be contracted before the man has reached 20 years of age and the woman 18 years of age, two years earlier in both cases than the stipulations in the Marriage Law. Late marriages are encouraged.
The modifications abolish the feudal practice of polygamy and polyandry, and stipulate that monogamy shall be practised. Owing to historical reasons, polygamy and polyandry are practised among quite a number of people in Tibet. In view of this situation, the modifications stipulate that Such marriages, contracted before the Marriage Law and the modifications come into effect, will be maintained unless one of the parties concerned applies for a divorce.
The modifications also have stipulations for protecting the interests of women and children.
Article 36 of the Marriage Law says: "The people's congresses and their standing committees in national autonomous areas may enact certain modifications or supplementary articles in keeping with the principles of this law and in conformity with the actual conditions prevailing among the minority nationalities of the locality in regard to marriage and family relations."
(This article appears on page 6, No. 20, 1981)