Sri Lanka conducts first burial of coronavirus victims

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Sri Lanka conducted its first burial of the remains of COVID-19 victims in Batticaloa today.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that the remains of two COVID-19 victims were buried at the Oddamawadi burial ground in Batticaloa.

He further said the remains were buried in normal graves and not concrete graves.

General Shavendra Silva said health authorities were looking for plots of land on higher ground to conduct burials.

He said this was so, in order to prevent any future doubts over the contamination of drinking water.

Meanwhile, five more remains of COVID-19 victims were also set to be buried at the site today.

The Government had earlier approved the burial of the remains of COVID-19 victims at two locations in the East.

The Eastern Province Health Director said permission had been granted to utilize the Soodupaththinachenai area in Oddamavadi, Batticaloa and Irakkamam area in the Ampara district as burial grounds.

The two newly proposed areas increase the number of approved burial grounds for COVID-19 victims in Sri Lanka to three.

Earlier this week, the Cabinet announced that Iranaitivu island in the Gulf of Mannar had been selected to conduct burials.

The burial of the remains of Covid victims, especially Muslim Covid victims, has been a long- standing issue in the country.

The Muslim Community and the Opposition have pointed out that cremation is against the community’s religious belief, and has repeatedly called on the Government to halt forced cremations. (Colombo Gazette)