Date :Sunday, February 28th, 2021 | Time : 16:34 |ID: 200892 | Print

OIC hails Sri Lanka’s decision on Muslim burial of Coronavirus victims

SHAFAQNA- IQNA: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) hailed the recent decision by Sri Lanka to lift a controversial order to cremate the bodies of all people who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including Muslims. The OIC in a statement welcomed the decision and noted that the organization had on various occasions called for the removal of the ban on Muslim burial of those dying of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka.

The Colombo government on Friday lifted the ban after months of protests by Muslim groups and international pleas. Mandatory cremation of all COVID-19-related deceased, regardless of their faith, was introduced in April as a safe option to prevent further spread. It sparked an outcry among members of the country’s Muslim minority as it barred them from burying their dead according to Islamic rites. Muslims make up nearly 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 22 million, which is predominantly Buddhist.

Many say the forced cremation policy was discriminatory, and international groups, including the OIC, EU, Amnesty International and the UN had sent repeated requests to Colombo to reconsider its decision. On Friday, the government released a notification permitting burial at designated cemeteries under the supervision of health authorities and “in accordance with the directions issued by the director general of health services.”

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