Maldives considering Gotabaya’s request to bury Sri Lankan Muslims in the Maldives

The Maldives Government says it is considering a request from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to facilitate Islamic funeral rites in the Maldives for Sri Lankan Muslims succumbing to the coronavirus.

Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid tweeted saying Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is considering the special request from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“President Solih’s decision is based on the close longstading bilateral ties between #SriLanka & Maldives, and to ensure help to face the challenges of the pandemic. This assistance will also offer solace to our Sri Lankan Muslim brothers and sisters grieving over burial of loved ones,” Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had said it was to propose concrete graves to end the forced cremation of Muslim coronavirus victims.

Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath had told Colombo Gazette the proposal will be made at the next meeting by the expert committee appointed to address the issue.

He said that suitable dry land will be looked at to make concrete graves to bury the remains of Muslim coronavirus victims.

Dr. Hemantha Herath said that he feels the forced cremation issue will be resolved soon.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had recently instructed the authorities to find suitable land to bury coronavirus victims.

He gave the instructions following talks held with the Health Ministry, officials and a group of Muslim Parliamentarians.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister instructed the authorities to find dry land to bury the victims in line with the advise of health experts.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, health experts have said that the virus will remain in the dead body of an infected person for 36 days. (Colombo Gazette)

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