Muslim countries welcome Sri Lanka’s decision to stop forced cremations

A number of Muslim countries have welcomed Sri Lanka’s decision to stop forced cremations.

Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan are among the countries that welcomed the announcement that Sri Lanka will permit the burial of COVID-19 Muslim victims.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, tweeted welcoming the decision taken by the Sri Lankan Government on the sensitive issue.

“I thank the Sri Lankan leadership & welcome the Sri Lankan govt’s official notification allowing the burial option for those dying of Covid 19,” he tweeted.

The Ambassador of Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, M. Ashraf Haidar tweeted saying the decision to allow burials will add to Sri Lanka’s success in controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

“We welcome Sri Lanka’s decision to discontinue the policy of cremation for all deaths caused by #COVID19, allowing the option of burial in some of its communities in accordance with their faith and human rights, consistent with @WHO guidelines. This measure will undoubtedly add to Sri Lanka’s success in controlling the spread of #COVID19 so far, while launching an effective vaccination campaign to immunize its population against the pandemic,” he tweeted.

Turkey also welcomed the decision by Sri Lankan authorities to bury those who died from the coronavirus in line with Muslim beliefs.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the Muslim community had been expecting a change in the practice of cremating the victims of COVID-19.

He said Turkey welcomed the decision to allow the burial of coronavirus victims in line with their religious beliefs.

A gazette notice was issued on Thursday permitting the burial of coronavirus victims.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi informed party leaders about the decision to permit the burial of coronavirus victims.

“In the case of burial, the corpse of such person shall be buried in accordance with the directions issued by the Director General of Health Services at a cemetery or place approved by the proper authority under the supervision of such authority,” the gazette notice states.

The decision had reportedly been taken following clearance given by a technical committee.(Colombo Gazette)