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Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Muslims call for end to cremations

Community urges the government to respect the burial rites of the religious minority

UCA News reporter, Colombo

UCA News reporter, Colombo

Updated: May 14, 2020 09:39 AM GMT
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Sri Lankan Muslims call for end to cremations

A police officer checks the identities of motorists in Colombo on May 13 after the government ended the lockdown which was imposed as a preventive measure against Covid-19. (Photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP)

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Kamal Santha says the Muslim community in Sri Lanka is deeply saddened by the cremation of Muslims who die from Covid-19.

The interfaith activist said Muslims have urged the government to allow burials without cremation. They have called for the amendment of the gazette notification and instructions issued to cremate the bodies of Muslim coronavirus victims.

The Buddhist-majority country made cremation compulsory for coronavirus victims on April 12, ignoring protests from the religious minority.

A 44-year-old Muslim woman who was suffering from a cold died in hospital on May 5. Her family received a telephone call saying she had been infected with Covid-19. Her family were sent to a quarantine center. Two days later, they heard through the media that their mother had not in fact succumbed to Covid-19.

The family are in grief as they did not have the chance to mourn her passing and give her a proper burial according to their wishes. She was cremated on May 5 and could not have a Muslim funeral service.

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