The Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has on Wednesday announced to lift ban for the burials of Muslims over the government’s decision to cremate all those who died of Coronavirus.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said in parliament the bodies of virus victims will be allowed to be buried.
In March last year, the Health Ministry had said that the burial of the coronavirus victims could lead to the virus spread. It said the bodies of the deceased, irrespective of their religion, would therefore be cremated.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed that cremation is a “matter of cultural choice.”
“It is a common myth that persons who have died of a communicable disease should be cremated, but this is not true,” it added.
Moreover, Muslims and non-Muslims have protested against the rule over the past year, calling it unscientific and insensitive of Muslim religious beliefs.
The United Nations also raised concerns with the government.
Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country where it is customary for Buddhists and Hindus, the second-largest religious group, to cremate the dead.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan has lauded Sri Lankan counterpart’s assurance allowing to bury Muslims those who died from COVID-19.
He took to his Twitter handle and wrote, “We welcome Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assurance given in Sri Lankan Parliament today allowing Muslims to bury those who died from COVID19.”
We welcome Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa's assurance given in Sri Lankan Parliament today allowing Muslims to bury those who died from COVID19.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 10, 2021