As the uproar about the cremation policy of Sri Lanka rises, Maldives says it is considering demanding the burial of Muslims who died of COVID-19.
The social activists from the United Nations have condemned the move by the Maldives’ government considering the burial of the Muslims dying due to COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. It is advised that this measure “could end up enabling the further marginalization of Muslim communities in Sri Lanka”.
Ahmed Shaheed, spokesperson of UN gave the statement on Wednesday in the midst of increasing outrage for the policies by the government ruling the Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka that mandated cremation of everyone who dies of COVID-19-a procedure prohibited in Islam.
The Muslims in Sri Lanka disapproves of the policy and label them as “discriminatory” and demand the burials to happen across the country.
On Monday, the Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid came forward and told that officials are taking into account a “special request” from Rajapaksa to assist “Islamic funeral rites in the Maldives for Sri Lankan Muslims succumbing to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
On special request from Sri Lankan President @GotabayaR, President @ibusolih is consulting stakeholder authorities of the Government of Maldives to assist Sri Lanka in facilitating Islamic funeral rites in the Maldives for Sri Lankan Muslims succumbing to COVID19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/EPj6TCCLLp
— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) December 14, 2020
Shahid took to Twitter and wrote, “This assistance will offer solace to our Sri Lankan Muslim brothers and sisters grieving over burial of loved ones.”
However, the UN rights expert found the response of the Maldives to Rajapaksa’s request “concerning”.
Shaheed also gave a statement saying, “It looks like the request did not come from the Muslim community or with their consent, and could end up enabling the further marginalization of Muslim communities in Sri Lanka.”