Sri Lanka To Ban Burqa, Shut Many Islamic Schools: Minister

 A Muslim woman wearing a hijab walks through a street in Colombo, Sri Lanka | Reuters File Photo

Colombo- Sri Lanka will ban the wearing of the burqa and shut more than a thousand Islamic schools, a government minister said on Saturday, with the latest actions set to affect the country’s minority Muslim population.

Minister for public security Sarath Weerasekera told a news conference he had signed a paper on Friday for cabinet approval to ban the full-face covering worn by some Muslim women on “national security” grounds.

“In our early days, Muslim women and girls never wore the burqa,” he said. “It is a sign of religious extremism that came about recently. We are definitely going to ban it,” he added.

The wearing of the burqa in the majority-Buddhist nation was temporarily banned in 2019 after the bombing of churches and hotels by Islamic militants that killed more than 250. Later that year, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, best known for crushing a decades-long insurgency in the north of the country as defence secretary, was elected president after promising a crackdown on extremism.

Rajapaksa is accused of widespread rights abuses during the war, which are charges he denies.

Weerasekera said the government plans to ban more than a thousand madrassa Islamic schools, which according to him, were flouting the national education policy.

“Nobody can open a school and teach whatever you want to the children,” he said.

The government’s moves on burqas and schools follow an order last year mandating the cremation of Covid-19 victims, which is against the wishes of Muslims who bury their dead.

This ban was lifted earlier this year after criticism from the United States and international rights groups.

Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.

ACT NOW
MONTHLYRs 100
YEARLYRs 1000
LIFETIMERs 10000

CLICK FOR DETAILS


Agencies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

KO SUPPLEMENTS