Petitions challenging cremation of Covid victims dismissed

The Supreme Court today dismissed all the petitions filed challenging the Gazette notification published on the cremation of the bodies of Covid victims.

The Gazette notification on COVID-19 preventive regulations states the bodies of all Covid victims will be cremated within 24-hours of the death as per the instructions issued by the World Health Organization.

Several Opposition members and rights groups have raised concerns in recent times on the matter, stating that the Government was disregarding the religious beliefs of the Muslim community by cremating the bodies of Covid victims.

The Government was urged on multiple occasions to respect the rights of religious minorities when conducting the final rites of Covid victims.

Several petitions were also filed at the Supreme Court challenging the Gazette notification published on the cremation of the bodies of Covid victims.

Recently, the Kalmunai Municipal Council too 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.

However, the Government insists that an expert committee has maintained that the cremation of coronavirus victims is the only option at the moment.

Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena told Colombo Gazette the expert committee which met and discussed the matter, had maintained that burial of coronavirus victims cannot be approved in Sri Lanka as yet. (Colombo Gazette)

 

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