Reuters Signs S. KODIKARA
Today, Friday, the Sri Lankan government insisted on continuing to implement a mandatory decision to burn the bodies of all deceased with the Coronavirus, rejecting international calls to allow Muslims to bury their dead according to their religious rites.
Officials in the Ministry of Health quoted Minister Pavithra Waniaracchi as saying that “this decision will not be amended for social, religious, political or personal reasons.”
Since April, the government has prevented the burial of the deceased with “Covid-19”, in light of fears fueled by influential Buddhist monks loyal to President Gotabaya Rajapakse, that burying the bodies of the deceased in the epidemic could contaminate the groundwater and contribute to the spread of the virus.
The World Health Organization considers that the risk of this occurrence does not exist, but the Sri Lankan government refuses to rely on this opinion.
And local and foreign Muslim organizations, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, have repeatedly expressed their concern about this decision.
The “Islamic Conference of Sri Lanka” party accused the government of seeking to lure Muslim youths into “reckless acts”, which was also warned against by Muslim Justice Minister Ali Sabri.
The country has witnessed tensions between Muslims and the predominantly Buddhist Sinhalese majority, since a local extremist group was accused of carrying out the bloody attacks that the country witnessed during the Easter holiday in 2019.