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Health Ministry silent over PM’S claims of allowing burials

11 February 2021 03:05 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Despite Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday claiming in Parliament that burial of COVID-19 victims would be permitted, senior Health and government officials were unaware till late last evening of any such decision which would change an existing gazette notification, which made cremation mandatory for all Coronavirus victims.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa, in Parliament yesterday in a vague statement said burials would be permitted when SJB MP S. M. Marikkar questioned as to whether cremations had to continue after State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle said the previous day that the virus could not spread through water.

However, when contacted, a senior Health Ministry official said that up to last evening, they had received no instructions from the Director General of Health or the Health Secretary to reverse the cremation only policy and even Ministry officials were made aware of this new decision only through Parliament.

A senior government official said that in recent days there had been no discussions held to discuss the burial issue and this matter came to light once again only after Dr. Fernandopulle commented the previous day saying that the virus could not spread through water. Even after her statement, the Expert Committee and Health officials had not gathered to discuss the matter and it was only mentioned in Parliament by the Prime Minister yesterday.

The official said for burials to be permitted the Director General of Health Services had to issue a gazette notification, reversing the earlier decision. Several attempts to contact the Director General of Health services last evening failed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is expected to arrive in the country soon on an official visit, in a statement on his twitter account last night said he welcomed Prime Minister Rajapaksa’s assurance given in Parliament, which would allow Muslims to bury those who died of the virus. (JAMILA HUSAIN)

  Comments - 14

  • Ramesh Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:24 AM

    Wait till Imran leaves the country.

    Zainulabdeen Mohammed Riswan Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:25 AM

    The truth can not be hidden.Yes inshaallah

    Punchi Putha Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:31 AM

    "in a vague statement said burials would be permitted when" You have absolutely correctly reported. He said burial would be permitted , it is not against any law of the land. What about the gazette on the subject. Another wave of confusion seems to has been released.

    azee Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:43 AM

    Health ministry officials could not bury the "good news" and instead burning over the news

    harshass Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:48 AM

    Isnt this government has two power centers eventhough It's controlled by a single corrupt family??

    P Harry Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:53 AM

    Who is acting minister of health now ? We did not see any acting of Peni Dhammika recently.

    Selvakumar Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:57 AM

    It's great for everybody's some things have follow medical guild line !!!

    Nomads Thursday, 11 February 2021 07:04 AM

    Puppets await for the call on reversing the decision from the Law inventors. The magic word is UNHRC. We now believe that virus does not transmit through water. Jokers.

    Anura Nanayakkara Thursday, 11 February 2021 07:09 AM

    Mahinda’s statement in parliament is to please Imrankahn who is going to visit SL soon. The government is expecting his support to get the support of Muslim countries at Geneva to escape punishment!!

    Anura Nanayakkara Thursday, 11 February 2021 07:09 AM

    Mahinda’s statement in parliament is to please Imrankahn who is going to visit SL soon. The government is expecting his support to get the support of Muslim countries at Geneva to escape punishment!!

    Carie Weerawansa Thursday, 11 February 2021 08:19 AM

    Now this is a good triumph card for WW to talk about to tarnish the image of Mahinda.

    Joshua Thursday, 11 February 2021 09:01 AM

    we have one cart being pulled by two bulls in to different directions.

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 11 February 2021 09:07 AM

    It is clear the Yakkos are getting cornered at the UNHRC, so they will try all methods including making statements.

    FF Thursday, 11 February 2021 09:13 AM

    SO DID MAHINDA CRACK A JOKE?


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