Ashes of cremated Muslim coronavirus victims disposed of

By Indika Sri Aravinda

Ashes of forcefully cremated Muslim coronavirus victims have been disposed of as family members have not come forward to accept them.

Public Health Inspectors’s Union (PHI) Secretary Mahendra Baalasooriya told Colombo Gazette that a number of infected Muslim coronavirus victims had been cremated last week.

He said that no one had come forward to accept the ashes.

Health Ministry sources told Colombo Gazette on the condition of anonymity that since no one has come forward to accept the ashes of the Muslim coronavirus victims, the ashes have been disposed of.

From among 20 unclaimed Covid infected bodies, the CMC has cremated nearly 11 bodies so far without the consent of family members or relatives, while around nine unclaimed bodies remain and are yet to be cremated.

The forced cremations of Muslim coronavirus victims was suspended last week.

The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) had been instructed to temporarily suspended the cremation of unclaimed bodies of coronavirus victims.

Baalasooriya said the CMC had been advised to suspend the cremation of unclaimed Covid infected bodies following a recent request made by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to address issues raised in this regard.

The Prime Minister had requested health experts to look for a dry land consisting of low water levels that could be used for the burial of Muslim Covid victims in Sri Lanka.

Baalasooriya said as a result, the CMC has been instructed to halt cremations until health experts provide a feedback to the Prime Minister and a final decision is taken on the matter.

The Muslim community in Sri Lanka had raised concerns over the Government’s decision to cremate the bodies of Muslim Covid victims, as it goes against their beliefs. (Colombo Gazette)