Sri Lanka was to inform in writing to the General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday about its decision to allow the burial of Muslim Covid-19 victims, Daily Mirror learns.
The Government decided to reverse its mandatory cremation policy based on recommendations by the technical committee of experts appointed to look into it. The gazette notification giving effect to this decision was issued on Wednesday night under the signature of Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi.
The burial of bodies of Covid-19 victims are allowed in accordance with directions by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) at a cemetery or a place authorised by him.
The OIC raised concerns about the mandatory cremation policy earlier. OIC Secretary General Yousef Al Othaimeen said at the meeting of the High level Segment of the UNHRC that the OIC is concerned with the situation of Muslims in Sri Lanka since they are denied the right to be buried.
He called for the Government to allow Muslims to bury their people dying of Covid-19 in accordance with their religious rites.there are 13 OIC countries which are members of the UNHRC this time. Their support is crucial for Sri Lanka to defeat the resolution to be moved by the core group of countries led by the United Kingdom.the zero draft of the resolution also refers to the burial issue. Some of the Islamic countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran have already spoken in favour of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. Sri Lanka has already rejected the resolution.(Kelum Bandara)