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Maldives steps in over burial row, offers to bury COVID-19 victims

14 December 2020 03:21 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Maldives Government, last week sent an official communiqué to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, stepping in to bury COVID-19 victims following serious concerns raised by the Muslim community here over the mandatory cremation only policy in Sri Lanka.

Dr Hemantha Herath, the Deputy Director-general of Public Health Services told Daily Mirror that following the communiqué received by the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry, in turn, informed the Health Ministry to develop guidelines and see the practicality of such a request since it had been officially communicated by the Maldives Government.

The Foreign Ministry had requested the Health Ministry to develop some guidelines and study the matter so that Sri Lanka could reply soon.

“The Maldives has stepped in to facilitate this process because they are broken up into islands and do not face the same issue as us.the Maldives Government has offered to bury the dead bodies in one of their islands.the Health Ministry will prepare its guidelines and hand over to the Foreign Ministry so that they can respond officially,” Dr. Herath said.

“We do not know how practical this is till the feasibility is conducted.the practical options have not been explored yet. Only then we can tell if this is going to happen or not,” he added.

To date, Sri Lanka’s mandatory cremation only policy for all COVID-19 victims has not changed while the Daily Mirror learns that following Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s request last week, a team of health experts were on the hunt for a land in the country where the water levels were low.

However, a final decision on such a land is yet to be conveyed to the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, a silent protest got underway in Colombo yesterday where white handkerchiefs and cloth were tied outside the Borella cemetery, protesting the mandatory cremation only policy and remembering those victims who were forcefully cremated.

Social media users were seen sharing the pictures widely on Twitter and Facebook. (JAMILA HUSAIN)

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  Comments - 18

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  • Sinna Monday, 14 December 2020 08:02 AM

    We here is not political or religious,it's experts advise, so it's due to religious you can arrange your island for that,

    Undertaker Monday, 14 December 2020 08:03 AM

    Bilateral agreement - They bury us and we bury them!!!

    Yasmin Jaldin Monday, 14 December 2020 09:07 AM

    Ha! Ha!. Good show.

    Janaka silva Monday, 14 December 2020 08:50 AM

    Someone is trying to make this a business as well haha, these people are crazy, many countries who have buried, have got their water infected with Covid which as a result its never ending, Guess people want to mess our country. disappointment.

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 14 December 2020 08:51 AM

    The action of the Maldivian Govt itself is a shame on Sri Lanka. It simply says, if you cannot cremate Muslims in Sri Lanka then send them over here and we will do it.

    Leela Godawatte Monday, 14 December 2020 09:06 AM

    MR get expert advice. Don't let other countries muslim or not govern our country. People who travel to Male should know what sort of drink and food they should be conuming.

    Curious Monday, 14 December 2020 03:19 PM

    What happens to the water used by the Corona patients in the hospitals and quarantine centres for their daily bath and other basic needs. Is it collected separately and evaporated.

    Sachin Monday, 14 December 2020 09:16 AM

    Good slap on the SL government

    BigEars Monday, 14 December 2020 09:41 AM

    A slap in the face for Sri Lanka government. The water beds are shallow in Maldives as compared to Sri Lanka.

    Leela G Monday, 14 December 2020 01:03 PM

    Who cares as long as they want to do virus burials. How can this be a slap and we should be thankful. Thank you heaps Male.

    Maldivian Monday, 14 December 2020 01:51 PM

    I am a Maldivian, The Maldives should first arrange proper burial arrangements to its own citizens, the remains of my father and mother had been dug out to make room for new burials, I have no idea where the remains of my own parents are, they may have dumped in the ocean. I will advise no Sri Lankan Muslims to listen to this. and I have serious doubts as to the real intention of this Indian sponsored government in Maldives.

    joshua Monday, 14 December 2020 03:04 PM

    Thank You Maldives. Good lesson for this useless Government.

    decentgent Monday, 14 December 2020 04:24 PM

    The kind offer of the Maldives govt should be appreciated as they as an Islamic country know the rights of the dead. Janaka Silva's statement is baseless and false. All countries are following the guide lines of WHO, except SL. Hope the govt and the Health Dept come out of this ignorant assumptions. Give the Muslims and the Christians their right to bury the bodies of their loved ones.

    Nomads Monday, 14 December 2020 06:58 PM

    SL will not come out to face the reality for the next 100years till buffaloes votes fellowmen.Either living or dead equal the rights to practise should be allowed. This is what happens when brainless mutts sits in the expertise panels perceived as global genius.

    Baba4 Tuesday, 15 December 2020 02:21 AM

    Take the living too.

    Lanka Peiris Tuesday, 15 December 2020 02:29 AM

    Maldivian is the only sensible person. Maldives can't sort their own burial problem and now trying to import burials to fool the Muslims in the world! Just like India failing to provide even toilets to their own in India but trying to go to the moon and building houses for LTTE leftovers in Sri Lanka.

    Nimal Tuesday, 15 December 2020 06:06 AM

    Please stay away from Sri Lanka internal issues ! th

    Sam Tuesday, 22 December 2020 07:57 AM

    There are Maldivians doing business, studieng, medical treatment and even employment here in Sri Lanka and some have even been living here for decades. They certainly deserve to have there share. But not SRI LANKANS. Even former Maldivian President did his primary education in SL. He made Maldives great. But he was not a Sri Lankan.


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