There will be civic resistance if the government does not allow the burying of Muslims who succumb to COVID-19, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) MP, Leader Rauff Hakeem said.
He, however, called for the avoidance of it.
“We have to avoid civic resistance so please change these draconian procedures,” Mr. Hakeem said. He also referred to a media report which said at least 20 unclaimed bodies are to be cremated.
The issue popped up when Tamil National People’s Front MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam raised the issue in the House earlier during the day. Mr. Ponnambalam who referred to the WHO guidelines said WHO adaptation 24(3) states that a person who succumbs to COVID-19 could be disposed while allowing the cultural traditions. Referring to court cases in Sri Lanka and India he said dead person also had human rights just like the living.
“Human rights are confirmed in the constitution. The Constitution of a country is a living thing,” he said.
“Cremation is not allowed in Islamism. Fire is associated with hell in Islamism. They believe that those who sin are burnt in hell by fire. This is why they don’t like cremation of dead bodies,” the MP added.
Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena who responded said the government will come up with a reply for the issue shortly. He noted that the same question was raised in the House on an earlier occasion and the government had stated its stance.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)