It is not only Muslims who had lost funeral rights, but all communities face the similar predicament in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, State Minister Taraka Balasuriya said yesterday.
Mr. Balasuriya told Parliament that even Sri Lankan Chrisrians do not get to bury their dead during this pandemic situation." Muslims in Sri Lanka should cooperate and must not give rise to racism using this issue," the State Minister said.
"According to Jewish custom, remains are kept for seven days before burial. However, Israel had enacted a regulation under which the dead have to be interned within one day. Many Islamic countries have also banned the cleaning of corpses prior to burial." he said.
Buddhists in Sri Lanka do not get to practice their funeral rights. Buddhists are not getting the opportunity of conducting the tradition of 'Pansakula' in the face of current pandemic. I am also saddened that people have to forego their funeral rights.
However, I believe politiicans should not get involved in this issue and leave it to the health experts to decide it.
"We thought MP Rajitha Senaratne's adjournment debate was an appropriate one. However, it seems he is unable to get rid of his cruel approach. He did not even commend the government for its success in controling the pandemic during the first wave. Sri Lanka's death rate from COVID-19 is one of the lowest in the world. Also one should remember that COVID-19 is the biggest global challenge since the World war two," he added. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)