Colombo, March 13: Sri Lanka will ban the wearing of the burqa. Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara on Friday signed a cabinet paper in this regard. The proposal for banning the burqa will no be presented before the cabinet on Monday. The ban on burqa was recommended by the PCoI after the 2019 Easter Sunday Attack. Weerasekera confirmed the development to the media, during a press conference on March 12. Sri Lankan Government Bans Burqa in Public Spaces, Calls The Face Veil Security Risk.
The minister said that the move would ban the full-face covering worn by Muslim woman on "national security" grounds. Weerasekara termed the burqa as a sign of religious extremism. "In our early days, Muslim women and girls never wore the burqa," reported Reuters quoting the Sri Lankan minister as saying. Serial Blasts In Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Churches And Hotels Hit; Nearly 250 People Dead, Over 400 Injured.
Notably, after the 2019 Easter Sunday attack, the Sri Lankan government had temporarily banned the wearing of the burqa. The 2019 bombing claimed around 250 lives. The country is also planning to shut a thousand Islamic schools. According to the minister, these Islamic schools were flouting the country's national policy. He said that nobody could be allowed to open a school and teach whatever they want to. In the 2019 elections, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had promised to crush the extremism from the country.
The decision will affect the Muslim population in Sri Lanka. Notably, last year, the Sri Lankan government also passed an order to cremate bodies of COVID-19 victims, irrespective of religion. The order drew flak for the Muslim community of the country. The ban on burying dead bodies was lifted earlier this year after criticism from the United States and international rights groups.