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  • A country obsessed with racial and religious conflicts
    Sri Lanka, as a nation has been wasting time debating sensitive racial and religious issues for the past several years, without gaining anything. Only thing the country has been witnessing as a result is communities distancing themselves from each other, while portraying a false unity among them. 
    The situation seems to have come to a head with people of various communities being emotionally charged over these issues subsequent to the attacks on three Christian churches and three major tourist hotels by the Islamic terrorists on April 21, 2019, which was also the Easter Sunday.
    The terrorist attacks which caught the nation off-guard demanded united action by all communities and political parties to handle the immediate situation and to prevent future recurrence of...
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  • Burqa ban: Security, human rights and male chauvinism
    A few years ago, on a Turkish beach exclusively for women, a bikini-clad woman offered her prayers. The video clip of the woman going through the postures of the Muslim prayer went viral and created a major debate among the Muslims.  Some censured her for not adhering to the dress code for prayers, but others said what mattered was her piety and not the dress.
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  • South African Muslim bodies seek intervention over burqa ban in Sri Lanka Foreign Minister of South Africa urged to intervene
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  • Banning Burqas and Madrasas illegal: Fmr MP
    Former MP M.M .Zuhair said yesterday it would be unlawful to ban Burqas and Madrasas. Issuing a statement, he said some observations and recommendations of the Commission on Easter Sunday attacks are invasive of the absolute protection given to every person under Article 10 of the Sri Lanka Constitution. He said the Commission’s report though good in parts, can be seen as an attempted assault on Islam for the heinous crimes of a dozen suicide bombers. The right to the freedom stated in Article 10 is ‘assured to all religions’ under Article 9. No one, not even Presidential Commissions can invite or promote the State or any limb of the Executive or Judiciary to violate the freedom guaranteed under Article 10.This protection is guaranteed notwithstanding any national security concerns, as the law stands today. In this constitutionally...
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  • Pakistan says likely ban on Niqab in SL to serve as injury on Muslims
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  • යුරෝපයේ රටවල් 8 කින් හිස්බුල්ලාට සහාය
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  • Eight EU HR Ambassadors raise concern over Hejaaz Hizbullah
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  • Circular on burial of COVID-19 victims issued
    The circular containing the guidelines with regard to the burial of COVID-19 victims has been issued, the Health Ministry said. Some key guidelines are as follows, The relatives of the deceased should inform the Director/ Head of the health care institution (Where the death has occurred) of their desire to bury the corpse without delay. The Director of the hospital/ Head of the health care institution should obtain a written request from relatives for burial. The relatives need to provide a coffin in advance. It is the duty of the director/ Head of health care institution to transport the corpse in a coffin provided by the relatives to a designated location in Colombo Institute of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (office of JMO) / BH Welikanda where the corpse will be received by the designated officer. The vehicle transporting the...
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  • Muslims to raise concerns over Iranaithivu burial with global bodies
    A leading Muslim organisation in Sri Lanka will this week send an official letter of concern to the global Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress, seeking their intervention to urge the Sri Lankan government to allocate a decent land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims. The Daily Mirror learns that the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre, which is a member of the World Muslim Congress will raise serious concerns with the global bodies and will also send a letter to the World Muslim Congress office in Geneva urging for immediate intervention after the government announced that burials of the COVID-19 dead would take place on the Iranaithivu Island, in the Gulf of Mannar. Senior Muslim officials said they were disappointed at the government’s decision to allocate the Iranaithivu Isle for the burials and instead urged...
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  • Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal further remanded
    Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Principal of Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel were further remanded till March 18 by the Fort Magistrate’s Court today. They were earlier remanded under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA and section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.   http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Hizbullah-and-Madrasa-School-Principal-further-remanded/108-206945 Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
    Read More...
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UK Muslims complain to UN over Sri Lanka’s cremation policy

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Muslim Council of Britain leads calls for an end to the ‘unjust and discriminatory’ mandatory cremation policy.
9 Feb 2021
Muslim families in the United Kingdom whose loved ones have been cremated in Sri Lanka have submitted a complaint to the United Nations, branding the South Asian country’s controversial policy “unjust and discriminatory” and calling for its immediate suspension.

Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka made cremation mandatory last March for people who die, or are suspected to have died, with coronavirus.

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The move has deeply upset Muslims, because according to Islam, the dead should be buried.

Christians bury their dead, too, and some in Sri Lanka have also been hurt by the move, which came despite World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines which permit burials for people who die from COVID.

The UK complaint was lodged to the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) in partnership with UK-based law firm Bindmans on behalf of the families.

Zara Mohammed, the secretary general of the MCB, described the country’s cremation policy as “unprecedented”.

“No other state has carried out such unjust and discriminatory measures,” she said in a statement issued on Monday. “We very much hope that the Sri Lankan government will change its policy in line with the World Health Organization advice.”

Tayab Ali, a partner at Bindmans who represents the MCB and the families, described the practice as “heartless”.

“Our clients were already suffering from the distress of losing a family member to COVID,” he said in a statement. “It is truly heartless for the Sri Lankan government to add to that distress by unnecessarily forcing the bodies of loved ones to be cremated.”

Ali also called for the UNHRC to “take immediate action on receipt of this complaint by granting interim measures to halt these cremations”.

UN experts urge policy rethink
The complaint said there was “no justification, on the facts, for the prohibition of burial maintained by the Sri Lankan government”.

“This has been recognised by multiple institutions of the UN,” it said. “There are, as scientific experts have already advised, multiple protection measures that can be put in place to protect public health without the blanket denial of the right of individuals to practise their religion and to be buried in accordance with their faith.”

Sri Lankan officials have claimed that bodies of COVID victims would contaminate the groundwater if buried.

But several experts have countered this claim, noting that if burial locations are well planned, the groundwater would not be affected.

In January, an expert panel appointed by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health said burying those who had died from COVID-19 was allowed, in line with precautions to curtail the pandemic.

UN special rapporteurs, for their part, have twice called on Sri Lanka’s government to reconsider its mandatory cremation policy in letters sent to authorities in January this year and last April.

In their latest note, UN experts said the practice ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minority communities in Sri Lanka, and could “foment existing prejudices, intolerance and violence”.

The WHO has said there is no evidence to suggest that cremation prevents the spread of coronavirus.

“While we must be alert to the serious public health challenges posed by the pandemic, COVID-19 measures must respect and protect the dignity of the dead, their cultural and religious traditions or beliefs, and their families throughout,” the UN experts said.

Critics of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa have accused his government of using the pandemic to marginalise Muslims, who make up roughly 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million people.

More than 70,000 COVID-19 infections have been recorded in Sri Lanka since the pandemic erupted, and 365 people have died after contracting the virus, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

SOURCE : AL JAZEERA

 

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https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/9/muslim-families-complain-to-un-over-sri-lanka-covid-cremations

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