1 December, 2020

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Politics Behind Muslim Burial

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

No scientist or epidemiologist anywhere in the world has so far proved with solid evidence that corona virus would spread from buried corona-killed corpses. Only in Sri Lanka a so-called committee of health experts belonging to the establishment, expressed an opinion that because of high water level in the ground that virus has the potential to spread, if those died from it are buried. Hence, they recommended indiscriminate cremation hitting directly at religious sensitivity of Muslims. No amount of protest from local Muslims or from Muslim organizations abroad, and not even advice from WHO to the contrary could convince President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government to relent. The President maintains that unless the experts committee shows the green light he will not budge. This is the strongest demonstration yet of the one-country-one-law mantra.

In the meantime, the Muslim Minister of Justice fails to see the injustice committed to his community, and the Mufti or the chief shepherd preaches his herd how to bury the ashes after cremation. If you cannot change them join them appears to be the preferred course of action to these leaders. The community on the other hand is not prepared to listen.

The whole episode has nothing to do with science and epidemiology but with politics. The opinion expressed by the experts committee was manna from heaven to Buddhist supremacists who, since 2009 and especially after the Easter Massacre of 2019, are bent on seeking revenge on Muslim community. These supremacists are a pillar of strength to the Rajapaksa regime. Their ideology of a hegemonic Buddhist Sri Lanka dominates the thinking and philosophy of the professionals in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Viyathmaga. It is that ideology which is the quintessence of today’s jathika chintanaya. Only a few days ago, when a rumour was spreading that the government was about to reconsider its decision to cremate Muslim bodies, an ageing Gunadasa Amarasekera, one of the architects of this ideology warned the government of relenting to Muslim demand. A couple of days ago Rev. Gnanasara in his usual anti-Muslim tone also reminded the law makers in the parliament of one-country-one-law.

There is no sign that the virus is going to disappear for at least another couple of years although its spread could be controlled through vaccination. Even then how cheaply and easily would Sri Lankans have access to that vaccine is unsure because of the country’s financial difficulties. Authorities are already opening the country for business, because Basil Rajapaksa feels that profit should not be allowed to suffer because of public health. Thus, based on pseudo-science and backed by jatika chintanaya cremation of Muslim bodies would continue under the pretext of an emergency. If the Mufti continues to preach his compromised solution of Islamically burying the ash, he could win the hearts and minds of the rulers but certainly not of his community.

The issue of cremating Muslim bodies and the proposed ban on cow slaughter are ideologically motivated and very soon one may expect Muslim personal laws also to fall under the ideology’s axe. It would be interesting how the Muslim Minister of justice would handle that issue when it comes before parliament. Meanwhile, the protagonists of this ideology would be watching closely at what their ‘predator’ friend China is doing to Uighur Muslims in Xinxiang. Leaked reports show how those Muslims are force fed with pig meat and their women shaved and the hair is used as raw material for manufacturing industrial products. Already the Chinese government has destroyed several mosques and Muslim burial places in the name of development. One could only hope that the situation in Sri Lanka would not descend to that barbaric level. Sri Lanka’s exceptionally successful management of multiculturalism before the colonial period was unique in the entire region of Asia.

However, what options do Muslims have to avoid further calamities? First of all, they should give up the idea that by going along with the ruling regime they could save their skin and survive peacefully under traumatic conditions. At the same time, there is no guarantee that they will have better prospects by joining the current opposition, because SJB and its parent UNP will also eventually fall prey to the current pernicious ideology to capture power. Therefore, Muslims and for that matter even Tamils should seek a third alternative. It should be an alternative that seeks to bring back democracy with all its innate qualities and preserve the country’s pluralist polity and culture. Thankfully, there is a significant cluster of saner and influential minds within the majority Sinhala Buddhists, including sections of the Sangha, who are wanting that to happen. It is the task of the Muslim intelligentsia to approach and join hands with them, introduce them to the community and work with them for a better Sri Lanka. It is not a change that is going to happen soon, but the foundations should be laid now for the future. The populist image of the current regime is bound to suffer in the face of looming economic disaster.

Muslim community is caught up in the current predicament because of its own ethnic politics. Both SLMC and ACMC should be dissolved forthwith and the community becomes part of a multi-ethnic, patriotic and democratic political party. If a ruling government is democratic, treats every community and citizen equally and protects the independence of judiciary, what does it matter whether Muslims and Tamils or for that matter even Sinhalese are represented in the legislature by their own men and women or by other community members? It is time to think afresh and outside the circle.

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Latest comments

  • 23
    3

    Gota’s government is schizoid. It is very particular about treating dead bodies ‘scientifically,’ while prescribing mythical solutions to the problems of the living.

    • 3
      0

      Not long ago,very same Gota, selfproclaimed, that his govt is one of the best govt to have contained the virus. Local so called TV channels, painted the picture that Rajakashes are the saviors of this nation, having mastered CIVIL war and then COVID crisis.
      :
      Today, within 3 weeks, we have now 4 times more COVID deaths 10 or more times than a month ago. All because they dont care much about HEALTH specilists.. We are right to brand Rajakshes are just talk masters and they are well talented as killing own people and misleading the stupid voters for their political survival.
      .
      As of today:

      Coronavirus Cases:
      16,405
      Deaths:
      53
      Recovered:
      11,324

  • 28
    6

    This is such a blatant violation of people’s fundamental human rights.

    Its quite clear it is the health ministry who are being an obstacle to following international guidelines in covid 19 burials. They are those who cited pseudo science at the beginning to hoodwink the easily fooled singhalese and O/L unqualified ministers (everyone saw the leaked ada derana behind the scenes footage).

    How these lies are still used to prop up false claims having absolutely no evidence against international health authorities recommendations is beyond me. But then again this is a country where they elected to power the terrorist masterminds (gota & co.) of the Easter Sunday attack.

    Hopefully the Muslims in sri lanka can breathe a sigh of relief soon when these false claim pseudo science beliefs are done away with and burials are facilitated.

    • 3
      12

      “This is such a blatant violation of people’s fundamental human rights. “

      Tell l that to the Virus and ask the virus not to infect or kill Muslim people
      oh Covid-19 – please don’t kill Sri Lankan Muslims! If you want to know how to identify Sri Lankan Muslims it’s easy. We normally sit on the fence.

      • 6
        0

        Rajash

        “Tell l that to the Virus and ask the virus not to infect or kill Muslim people”

        Kamal is ready with his ceremonial sword and Shavendra is prepared with his loaded multi barrel. They have 20/30 years of fighting LTTE under their belt.
        What else do you want? Let them get on with their job.

  • 22
    3

    I think Muslims are playing politics the Muslim Burials. It is Muslim politicians gave two third majority at last as before to create Rajapakse family dictatorship. No one is going to believe on Muslim politicians.

    • 6
      1

      …they also voted for 20A to get the required 2/3rd.
      why didn’t they draft in to the constitution a clause that all Muslims in Sri Lanka must be buried!

      ………….

      I mean not ALL Muslims bur deceased Muslims…wishful thinking on my part

  • 8
    22

    In Singapore there are no burials. The Kranji Crematorium is done in such a way that one can imagine that you dropped off the dead person in a heavenly location.

    • 11
      13

      Saudi is all desert so burial is perfectly OK. Not SL. If not cremated Corona virus will re-emerge like Ebola. But I fully support burying dead Muslims in Kathankudi. They must have that right.

      • 6
        2

        GATAM,
        .
        Quick response
        , after having only skimmed article from Dr. Ameer Ali, who, like you, always writes sense:
        .
        When this cremation controversy began about eight months ago, I’m sure that harassment of Muslims was the aim. Even more so (and against all common sense) the ban on cattle slaughter. Totally unjustified stereotyping swallowed by dumb and insensitive Sinhalese. Aristotelian syllogism (rusty – please improve):
        .
        Major: All butchers in country are Muslims. (Even that is not true: pigs and fish are slaugtered by others and I’m omnivorous myself.)
        .
        Minor: We don’t like Muslims. (Not true of me. Also irrelevant.)
        .
        Conclusion: All Muslims are butchers. (Invalid conclusion, empirically false.)
        .
        Something like that. The fact is that few Muslims enjoy killing, and many Muslims have done no more killing than me. I’ve killed mosquitoes, cockroaches and mice – and we all want to kill this COVID virus.
        .
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kattankudy
        .
        Note demographics.
        .
        This second round of COVID is deadlier. I guess that what you’ve said is because there are only Muslims in that enclave. But it could spread. Third round: another mutation?
        .
        This is a matter for scientists, not for soldiers and politicians.

    • 6
      0

      Dear hanchopancha;
      Singapore’s National Environmental Agency states otherwise, in complete contradiction to your post;
      https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/after-death/post-death-matters/burial-cremation-and-ash-storage

      The Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex is the only cemetery in Singapore still open for burials;
      Choa Chu Kang Muslim Cemetery
      Choa Chu Kang Ahmadiyya Jama’at Cemetery
      Choa Chu Kang Jewish Cemetery
      Choa Chu Kang Parsi Cemetery
      Choa Chu Kang Bahai Cemetery
      Other cemeteries at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery; Christian, Chinese, Hindu, Lawn etc

      • 4
        2

        Dear Sir/Madam,
        I am standing on my knees with thousand apologies by taking responsibility for being ill informed. Thank you very much. It stuck in my mind that due to acute scarcity of land in Singapore the custom of burying the dead was done away with.

        • 5
          0

          Dear hanchopancha:
          What triggered me to question the information you had posted (or rather initially, GATAM’s similar post elsewhere) was that the idea that Singapore would disrespect the religious traditions of any segment of its population seemed a juxtaposition to what Singapore is at its foundation.

          Certainly space is an issue in Singapore especially when trying to maintain a surprisingly good amount of green space.

          Reading up on the topic, it came to light ground burials do have a time limitation and perhaps in addition to efficient space utilization. I think 15 years is the limit on the duration of burial after which, some other ‘storage‘ arrangement is made.

          Cheers!

          • 0
            5

            It is most amazing to observe the reluctance of the people to face reality fairly and squarely. If Singapore does not believe in cremation of dead bodies, then the entire Singapore would be one whole graveyard. If they open up a grave where a dead body was buried after three months, the stark reality should strike into the dullest of minds.

            • 2
              0

              To date, religious rights are respected in Singapore.

              “With effect from 1 November 1998, the burial period for all graves will be limited to 15 years. At the end of 15 years, the graves will be exhumed. For those whose religions permit cremation, the exhumed remains will be cremated and stored in columbaria niches. Where burial is mandated by religion, the exhumed remains will be re-buried in smaller individual plots.”
              https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/after-death/crypt-burial-system

              Even where land is in abundance, the cost of burial plots can be expensive; it is often an option to bury up to 3 family members in a single plot.

              Singapore’s long success and lasting social harmony is founded on its innovation; difficult to find dull minds there. We can be confident Singapore will find ways without denigrating and denying the religious rights of its citizens.

    • 3
      1

      hancho ,

      Why fly Singapore , India buries ! Is it far from your paradise ?

  • 8
    3

    So cremation was ok for some (4/21) but not others? Funny science.

  • 6
    2

    The pandemic has been politicized in some nations, not surprisingly including Sri Lanka. Multi religious nations should respect and consider the religious practices of other religions, if it is WITHIN the guidance and regulations of worldwide Health experts, and followed by other nations.
    Sometimes you have to trust the experts, not politicians with their own agenda’s.

    “Burial
    People who have died from COVID-19 can be buried or cremated.
    • Confirm national and local requirements that may dictate the handling and disposition of the remains.
    • Family and friends may view the body after it has been prepared for burial, in accordance with customs. They should not touch or kiss the body and should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after the viewing;
    • Those tasked with placing the body in the grave, on the funeral pyre, etc., should wear gloves and wash hands with soap and water after removal of the gloves once the burial is complete.”

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

    It is really simple. It is a pity that an issue like this becomes magnified and portrayed as a huge problem, caused by people of a minority religion, who simply want their dead buried according to their religious rites, within very reasonable conditions, inconveniencing no one, and given the stamp of approval by the WHO.

  • 16
    4

    Thank you Dr Ali for this article.
    Cremate racism first before anything. It is not science behind it but vulgar racism and opportunist nasty politicians ruining this beautiful country.
    From Banda to Gota nothing other than racism ruining the country.
    Unless the citizens stand up against corruptions of these politicians playing with racist cards, this nation will die soon, sadly.
    Stand up for justice and fairness for any human, do not feed racism in the minds of innocents.

    • 5
      1

      Sayyid,
      Why is your history beginning with Banda; Where did you bury D.S..

    • 2
      3

      Nathan,
      .
      May I be blunt about this?

      .
      It was D.S. who brought in MMDA which so many Muslim women are unhappy about – and I hope Sayyid as well. It was designed to make Muslim men happy.
      .
      We can shout ourselves hoarse denouncing racism, but until such time as Muslims also help us a little, we won’t be effective.
      .
      Minimum marriage age for girls must be set, more education for them, so that without coercion by anybody birth rates will decline.
      .
      D.S. Senanayake tried to reduce Upcountry Tamil representation in Parliament. I talked about how vestiges of that remain to this day in comments with maps and figures in this article. Click on this:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/why-the-world-is-counting-on-a-biden-victory/
      .
      I know the risks I’m running by putting such things on. See for yourself the manifestations of racism – yes, by us Sinhalese. If I’m to persist in this, other communities also must make corrections where necessary.

  • 4
    9

    The problem with Muslims is even in the midst of a global pandemic – they only want to selfishly pursue their religion, and that also for a dead man – who doesn’t even say he wants it. The burial has lots of issues..

    https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331538/WHO-COVID-19-lPC_DBMgmt-2020.1-eng.pdf
    If there is a risk of splashes from the body fluids or secretions, personnel should use facial protection, including the use of face shield or goggles and medical mask
    Body bags are not necessary, although they may be used for other reasons (e.g. excessive body fluid leakage); and etc

    The issue is not whether a body can or can’t be buried safety. The key issue is at a time of such a global pandemic, with high risk of aggressive infections the Muslim ethnicity is shamelessly, selfishly and insistently asking for burial has more risk of infections than a cremation.. !!

    In Sydney / AUSTRALIA – they are checking for covid using the sewage – an infected person’s faeces
    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/sewage-surveillance.aspx

  • 4
    9

    very high infection rate in CT on blogs/article about COVID-19 Muslim Burial.
    I don’t want to post my comments on each and every one of them.
    I am wearing gloves and face mask while typing for the fear of getting infected by Muslim Burial.

    I understand that the Covid-19 virus can remain active in a dead body for up to 10 weeks.
    will this cause issue if the body of the deceased from Covid-19 infection, irrespective of the religion, is buried?
    Can the virus infect the water system from the deceased’s body?
    Can the virus infect the soil and appear in edible plants/vegetable.

    These are unknowns!
    Should we not take precaution ?
    This is a Pandemic which has infected 52million people world wide and killed 1.2million people?

    The virus is new and the scientist are still struggling to understand about its mutation , how it infect people, can it go from people ,dead or alive, to animal or to plant or infect soil the ater system etc etc

    So my appeal to the so called Muslin scholars and writers and bloggers is bury your belief temporarily and not bury the body. This for a temporary period. The good news is the the vaccine is round the corner!!!!!!

    • 1
      0

      Has not the WHO made its observations?
      It is dangerous to base arguments on what is really malicious gossip.

  • 4
    2

    I couldn’t help noticing Ameer Ali’s, ‘One could only hope that the situation in Sri Lanka would not descend to that barbaric level’.
    Ameer, Are there degrees of barbarism. Even if so, isn’t SL not second to any other!

  • 2
    6

    I simply cannot understand why Sinhalayo bought headaches. Because of the blunders committed by our elders, now Sinhalayo suffer from these headaches.
    Among Sinhalayo there is a saying which explains the predicament they face.
    ‘ahaka yana nai odokkuwe daagena kanawa kanawa kiyala mora denawa’
    (Pick cobras who are running away, put them in the lap and scream ‘biting, biting’)

    • 7
      2

      Eagle Eye,
      Don’t worry too much about why you cannot understand why Sinhalayo bought headaches. There is much you don’t understand!
      Instead of rectifying those blunders, you are adding to them.

      • 0
        5

        Nathan,
        Certainly, Sinhalayo should not commit blunders anymore to make sure that minorities do not give headaches.

    • 5
      0

      Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

      “I simply cannot understand why Sinhalayo bought headaches. “

      Get rid of Sinhalayo you will get rid of headaches, in other words go get lost.

  • 5
    0

    “Ambada Sabry’s” move at this point of time to raise the Muslim Burial issue is a technical setup by the Rajapakse Family Government. This was brought forward by
    Mr. Ambanda only to redirect the media and public focus away from the Appropriation Bill and the ever increasing Covid spread and deaths. The “Alternative Truth” of the Army Commander (who found money to buy drones when people are starving) confirms that there are fewer deaths because of Covid but others who died had other sicknesses and died during Covid. Sri Lanka has the 5th largest active armed force in the world and now a new addition Drone Squadron. What a crap! Why do we need such a massive armed force – to clean toilets?

  • 2
    4

    When hamudurus bodies were cremated in Hindu temple premises, no Muslims ever protested. Now that they are being attacked by Corona they are fighting to ‘Bury’ themselves. This controversy of Burial vs Cremation started essentially because of 21st April 19, on the day Jesus was supposed to have come to Life from the Cross of Death, his followers mostly Tamils were put to death . As to who was responsible for this massacres is questionable. Apparently, the Muslims were treated as ‘bullets’ fired by some political misfits who wanted fit themselves ‘comfortably’ in politics, as saviors.
    While I am not against the burial of the dead, with the fast diminishing land space for the living, it may be prudent to cremate. I am sure whoever the God is, he/she will understand our difficulties.

    • 1
      0

      KV
      Your logic is weird.

  • 2
    2

    Ameer your last sentence “it is time to think afresh and outside the circle” is important in the context of the present situation in our country. Scientists haven’t proofed that corona spread through the burial system and also not proofed that there is a god, cycle of rebirth and there is any kind of life after death. Religion is an outdated cultural phenomenon that has to be rooted out systematically. We have become slaves to the unknown dogmas and forgot the common civil life. Religion is a good instrument for politicians and rich cunning people. That is what is happening now in our country and other religious countries. If we think without bias we will understand the truth that religions make us blind and fear of unknown afterlives. Our religion is a parent’s gift but not an own selection.
    We are equal humans and our religion should be nature. Then only we can make an egalitarian society.

    • 2
      0

      PERERA,
      Religion is a guide to peace in life. If you have nothing good to say about it, say nothing.

      • 0
        3

        Thanks for the reply,
        Religion is a guide to peace in life is highly questionable. Even criminals do good things but their motive is not good. In the same way, religions have good things but their ultimate goal leads us to nowhere. It makes blind people, divide us, and ultimately destroy the world. Religions, directly and indirectly, brainwash the devotees by inculcating them to follow false beliefs. Asking people to believe lies is the first crime done by religion. There is no proof of the cycle of rebirth, god, and the afterlife. If they can be proofed they become a science. What religion does is make people fear unroofed gods and life after death. People live with fear and do whatever asks them to do to achieve a good life after death which is an illusion. There is a misunderstanding that because of the fear of life after death people become virtuous. How about the people who do not trust the life after death? This is one of the biggest mistakes we do, we have to be good not because of fear but because we are a civilized human being. Different religions set different false targets for the believers that do not exist in this world that is why we cannot live in harmony.

        • 1
          0

          P
          “Even criminals do good things but their motive is not good. “
          Do you say that a criminal is an entirely bad person?
          Many criminals are victims of circumstances and can be more kind and caring than their non-criminal counterparts.
          Whom one call a criminal itself is a subjective judgment.
          *
          Religion as a private system of belief has many positive things to go for it. It is when it gets assertive and aggressive that we have issues.
          So it is a waste of time to contest anyone’s faith.
          You achieve nothing but hurt feelings or provoke anger.

          • 1
            0

            “Religion as a private system of belief has many positive things to go for it. “

            Not Maoism.
            For a few, it is not only a religion but a way of life, panacea.
            Therefore the supposed Religious (cult) leader Mao is always right even if China invades this island and colonise it.

  • 1
    1

    CREMATION smoke it should not be released into the atmosphere. the toxins that are released from the crematorium particles can have adverse effects on the area the smoke could have a negative impact on health

    • 1
      0

      RBH59
      There are plenty of forest fires, intentional and accidental, around the globe.
      Cremation, especially modern enclosed cremation, does not pollute by a fraction of those.
      What about cooking by fire?
      Should we not ban fireplace kitchens and the use of firewood?

  • 0
    0

    Who is supposed to do the burying?
    Govt or the relatives?

    Soma

    • 3
      0

      soman

      “Who is supposed to do the burying?”

      Shavendra Silva who seems to have lots of experience in Vanni area. He is fit for the job. Probably Saudi might consider keeping him permanently in its payroll.

      Will you consider applying for the job?

    • 4
      0

      Soma,
      How about you? You have been burying history all your life!

      • 0
        0

        Nathan
        I never dabble in history or genetics.
        My premise has always been the EXISTING demographic distribution.

        Soma

  • 0
    0

    Nathan
    I never dabble in history or genetics.
    My premise has always been the EXISTING demographic distribution.

    Soma

  • 0
    0

    “Who is supposed to do the burying?”

    COVID-19 will not spread from dead bodies to cremated or buried the need for physical distancing Covid -19 patients

  • 0
    3

    “No scientist or epidemiologist anywhere in the world has so far proved with solid evidence that corona virus would spread from buried corona-killed corpses.”
     
    No scientist or epidemiologist anywhere in the world has so far proved with any evidence that Allah exists either. There is absolutely no evidence that the Muslims need to be buried in order to resurrect one day. If we leave aside the discussion about the existence of Allah and the presumed resurrection of Muslims, there is no basis to claim that the bodies must be buried in order for them to resurrect, since all human bodies gets decomposed when buried, while they become ash when burnt. The result is the same. Also, the Holy Quran does not give any instructions on how to handle pandemics, but only deals with normal conditions. So, Allah if he exists will understand. No God will ever expect people to act in foolish and irresponsible ways. The Muslims should please stop being a pain in this hour of crisis, and cooperate in all possible ways for the survival of all of us.

    • 1
      0

      Punchi Point ,

      In my view , the whole issue about this Burial or Cremation is neither
      Religion nor Science ! It is Clean Racism and Dirty Politics ! The pain
      is for the one who is Forced to helplessly watching a whole strange
      and seemingly vengeful dictatorial act of taking the dignity of a dead
      body of another culture by racist hands while the WHO didn’t insist on
      undignified final rites of a dead body ! Under such a situation , it is
      worthwhile to ask only one question . If Buddhists don’t have the
      habit of cremation , would this Govt allow cremating Buddhists while
      chest beating ” We are the leaders of Buddhist Sinhalese ?” And ,
      Muslims have enough experiences facing non-Islamic Burials under
      unavoidable situations where country’s normal law is applicable !
      Rugby player Thajudeen’s exhumation was one such situation . Prof
      Abdullah , formerly Periyardasan’s dead body was handed over to the
      medical college as per his last will ! Post mortems are carried out in
      hospitals where necessary without any hindrance . So , this particular
      Covid Victims cremation is not purely religious for Muslims .The govt
      and the opposition is playing politics with it victimising innocent
      Muslims !

      • 0
        0

        If a religion holds a dead person responsible for not getting his dead body buried, then there is either something wrong with the religion or the people practising that religion. In the case of Muslims, it seems it could be both.
         
        Its totally selfish to demand that others take such a huge risk, a deadly risk for that matter, so that religious superstitions can be practised by a few.
         
        When Muslim suicide bombers explode they burn. Is that alright by Allah? Christians and other Muslims who get bombed by Muslim suicide bombers usually burn to death. Is that too alright by Allah?

  • 0
    3

    It is a well known SCIENTIFIC fact that microorganisms including viruses enter the soil from buried cadavers and some of these microorganisms can survive for years. Even if a microorganism like SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) survives a few hours in buried corpses, it can spread the virus, and then there is no stopping that spread. There has been not enough time to study SARS-CoV-2 on these issues as studies, therefore its totally idiotic to talk of absence of evidence for transmission and spread from corpses. Our stand is that until and unless there’s solid scientific evidence that SARS-CoV-2 dies immediately when the host dies, we should assume with scientific evidence backing that assumption, that SARS-CoV-2 will spread from corpses of its victims, to the soil and contaminate surface-water and groundwater. Contamination of groundwater is only one aspect of the problem. Like other viruses SARS-CoV-2 too can mutate and jump species infecting our cats/dogs, cattle, wild-life, fish, birds and besides killing the animals, it can mutate and come back in another more deadlier version to infect us. (Example: H5N1 avian flu virus, jumped straight from birds to humans). So, its dumb to demand that the Covid-19 dead should be buried.

    • 1
      0

      Punchi,
      You have an interesting proposition.
      1. Viruses can survive in groundwater.
      (because there is no evidence that
      they CANNOT survive.)
      2 Therefore all Covid corpses must be
      burnt.
      3 These viruses kill animals like bats,
      cows, etc.
      So, from your arguments above, because there are more dead bats, cows, birds, etc ( which are not even buried) than humans , we should immediately start locating and cremating all these , with regard to their religious sensibilities of course before they pollute the groundwater.
      Just asking, dear lady. Thank you so much for your unbiased concern re. human life.

      • 0
        0

        Old Codger, The answer to your question is yes – significant numbers of dead birds, bats and cattle is a clear sign of a deadly infectious disease affecting them, so we must get rid of the carcasses immediately, regardless of the the virus/bacteria affecting them, using the best method, i.e by burning the carcasses, and if possible disinfecting the ashes/remains before burying the ashes/remains, not because of groundwater pollution, but because of direct spread and transmission of the virus/bacteria. Not only that, animal populations which have been exposed to a deadly virus must be euthanized and carcasses burnt to stop the spread to other animal populations. And this is exactly what is been done in Denmark right now, as it seems that SARS-CoV-2 has managed to jump species, namely to minks and then back to humans in a mutated new strain. Right now 17 million minks in Denmark are being euthanized and burnt.
         
        “Veterinary workers have begun the gruesome business of gassing and then burning 17 million mink in Danish farms in a bid to halt further spread of a Covid-19 mutation from the animals to humans.”.
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/08/veterinary-workers-cull-17-million-danish-mink-to-halt-new-covid

        • 0
          0

          Any idea why 17 million mink are being put to death and the carcasses being burnt, if it is safe to bury?
           
          Regarding your other deductions – My post does not contain any of the constructions you have made out of it. Neither does it contain any arguments based on absence of evidence (Ref. your deduction “Viruses can survive in groundwater. because there is no evidence that they CANNOT survive.” ) . It is the proponents of burials that use absence of evidence to support their demands (ref. the first sentence of this article: “No scientist or epidemiologist anywhere in the world has so far proved with solid evidence that corona virus would spread from buried corona-killed corpses.”)!
           
          Please note that it is not a matter of finding evidence for the transfer/spread of viruses from buried corpses to the soil/groundwater, as it is a well known scientific fact. What is done presently is studying the extent of contamination and finding ways to handle it. Therefore with the available scientific knowledge it is reasonable to assume that SARS-CoV-2 coming from buried corpses can contaminate groundwater and surface-water.

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            So the question is: When the risk of burying is well known and documented why is the UN/WHO saying its alright to bury the human dead? Why is Denmark burning the euthanized minks instead of burying them? Its extremely expensive and also polluting to burn than bury. IMHO the decision to recommend burying is not based on scientific evidence. It is purely a political decision. This decision to bury can harm humans and other animals in the years to come. The Muslims have turned the burial issue into an issue of willful discrimination against them, while no third party has explained to them the legitimate concerns of our government and the vast majourity of this country. The demand from Muslims is not only to bury the dead, but also to perform special washing of the corpse, which is extremely dangerous. Even Indonesia which is a Muslim country does not allow this special washing of corpses. But nobody is bothered about that. I think the criticism our government and the Sinhalese people have been subjected to, in this matter is unjust. This is not a time to quarrel and make minority political dramas.

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