Sri Lanka permits burial of COVID-19 victims

The Sri Lankan government finally issued a notification granting permission to bury the bodies of the people who have died of COVID-19 infection

Feb 26, 2021
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The Sri Lankan government finally issued a notification granting permission to bury the bodies of the people who have died of COVID-19 infection, Colombopage reported. The development came a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan concluded his first Sri Lankan visit.

Sri Lankan Ministry of Health issued an Extraordinary Gazette Notification, amending the regulations of the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance to allow “cremation or burial of the corpse”.

“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 notification said.

Reports say the notification was issued based on recommendations made by the technical committee, appointed to study the subject, submitted its findings to the government. 

The government came under heavy pressure, both domestic and international, for its forced cremation policy. The Organization of Islamic countries (OIC) recently, too, has criticized Sri Lanka for discriminatory treatment to Muslims of the country. 

The decision is also being seen as the bargain between Sri Lanka and Muslim countries as the former is hoping for diplomatic support from the OIC members to defeat a UNHRC resolution presented in the ongoing 46th UNHRC session. 

A day after the notification, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday took to Twitter, welcoming the decision and thanked the Sri Lankan government. Interestingly, this is the second time when Khan thanked the Sri Lankan government for allowing burial. 

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