The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has told the Health Ministry that mandating cremation is not a permissible restriction.
The Commission has written to the Ministry of Health issuing observations and recommendations on the disposal of dead bodies in the context of COVID-19.
In the letter,made public yesterday, the Commission says mandating the cremation of those who have died or suspected to have died from COVID-19 is neither necessary nor proportionate to the achievement of protection of public health and therefore is not a permissible restriction of the freedom to manifest religion or beliefs.
“The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka received complaints and expressions of concern from persons of various religious groups including Muslims, christian sand Buddhist son their inability to perform final religious rites after the death of persons in the context of Covid-19.amongst the concerns raised,are the forcible removal of bodies,lack of a standard process for determining whether the deceased person has in fact succumbed to the virus, lack of transparency surrounding the process and doubt as to the mandatory cremation requirement. (EASWARAN RUTNAM)