The Kalmunai Municipal Council unanimously approved a private members motion calling for the burial of Muslim coronavirus victims.
The motion submitted by a member of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) noted that Muslims must be allowed to decide if to bury or cremate the remains of their relatives who die as a result of the coronavirus.
The Kalmunai Municipal Council noted the need to inform the Government on the need to respect the wishes of the Muslim community with regards to the burial issue.
Subsequently the Kalmunai Municipal Council unanimously passed and approved the motion.
An expert committee had recently maintained that the cremation of coronavirus victims is the only option at the moment.
The expert committee which met and discussed the matter, had maintained that burial of coronavirus victims cannot be approved in Sri Lanka as yet.
“The committee met and discussed the matter and their position at the moment is that cremation is the only solution,” Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena had told Colombo Gazette.
The expert committee is to study the matter further before reaching a final conclusion.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Ms Hanaa Singer had earlier written to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterating concerns with the existing Ministry of Health guidelines, which stipulate cremation as the only method for the disposal of bodies suspected of COVID-19 infection.
She had said that the common assumption that people who died of a communicable disease should be cremated to prevent spread is not supported by evidence. Instead, cremation is a matter of cultural choice and available resources. (Colombo Gazette)