Colombo: Muslims in Sri Lanka will face another ban for being in the minority as the Minister of Public Safety of Sri Lanka said that the government would ban wearing the burqa and over a thousand Islamic schools will be shut down.
According to reports, the Minister of Public Safety, Sarath Weerasekera, told a news conference on Saturday that he had asked the cabinet to approve a ban on full-face veiling by some Muslim women on the grounds of ‘national security’ Signed a paper on Friday.
“In our early days, Muslim women and girls never wore the burqa, but recently we have seen it as a sign of ‘religious extremism’ and we are definitely going to ban it,” she said.
It should be noted that the wearing of burqas was temporarily banned in the Buddhist-majority country in 2019 after militants blew up churches and hotels.
Later that year, as secretary of defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, known for ending decades of insurgency in the northern part of the country, was elected president after promising to crack down on militancy.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been accused of widespread human rights abuses during the war but has denied the allegations.
Sarath Weerasekera said the government also intends to ban more than a thousand Islamic schools, which he said violated national education policy.
“No one can open a school and teach children whatever they want,” he said.
It should be noted that the government’s plan to ban burqas and Islamic schools came after an order was issued last year calling for the cremation of Muslims who died under COVID-19.
However, the ban was lifted this year after strong criticism from the United States and international human rights groups.
It should be noted that earlier in some European countries, efforts were made to ban Muslims, especially women, from wearing the niqab.
The European Union (EU) recently backed a ban on full-face masks in public places in Switzerland.
According to official results in the referendum, 51.21 per cent of voters supported the proposal.