15 June, 2021

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Respect Burial Rights; Stop Hate Speech Against Muslims: UN Tells Gota

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to follow WHO guidelines on the disposal of deceased persons.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Writing to the President, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion said: We would like to encourage your Excellency’s Government to reconsider the provisions in the MoH Guideline by taking into account of the key considerations provided by WHO Guideline for the disposal of the bodies of human beings deceased from the COVID-19, and revise the circular accordingly. In view of the challenges posed by the pandemic it is important that the Government avoids any unnecessary measures that are likely to raise tension and are running contrary to the respect of the fundamental human rights of the persons belonging to different communities that exist in Sri Lanka. Arbitrary decisions concerning the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 may also have the opposite effect to provoking the reluctance of families and communities to report COVID-19 cases in fear that they may be unable ensure proper funeral or burial rites for their loved ones. Ideally, such provisions should be revised in consultation with all the concerned ethnic and religious communities and other relevant health experts and stakeholders.

“We respectfully reiterate the importance that the Government continues to uphold the right of freedom of religion or belief as well as the right of the minorities even during this challenging time. The protection of the privacy and identity of the patients or deceased without identifying their ethnicity or religious background in public would prevent their stigmatisation as individuals or member of a specific community.

“We are taking the opportunity to stress that it is equally important that your Excellency’s Government firmly condemn any attempt by anyone, irrespective of status, to issue or spread hate messages that are of a nature to instigate ethnic or religious tensions or violence, including through accusations or blame that any particular ethnic or religious community is responsible for the pandemic of COVID-19.”

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief also ask the President to;

* Clarify the rationale for the decision to limit the method of the disposal of the dead bodies to cremation. Has any consultation been held with relevant health experts, civil society and community members in order to ensure that the decision to prohibit the burial of COVID-19 victims is non-discriminatory, necessary and proportionate to the objective pursued?

* The information if relevant personnel dealing with the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 have been trained or informed to ensure that the close family member of the deceased get to see the body before it is sealed and that they are informed of the cremation of the body well in advance.

* The measures undertaken to ensure that ethnic and religious minorities, are not discriminated against in the implementation of this MoH Guideline and that their right to freedom of religion or belief with regard to burial rites and practices is upheld and respected.

* The information on the steps taken to tackle potential rise in hate speech against Muslims and other ethnic or religious minorities in Sri Lanka, including by protecting the identity of the COVID-19 patients or deceased?

We publish below the letter in full:

PALAIS DES NATIONS • 1211 GENEVA 10, SWITZERLAND

Mandates of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

REFERENCE: AL LKA 2/20208

April 2020

Excellency,

We have the honour to address you in our capacities as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions 40/10, 42/16, 34/6 and 40/16.

In this connection, we would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government information we have received concerning the circular by the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka providing standard guidance on the autopsy practice and the disposal of COVID-19 related dead body.

According to the information received:

In March 2020, the Ministry of Health published Provisional Clinical Practice Guidelines on COVID-19 suspected and confirmed patients (MoH Guideline). This circular includes a chapter on the autopsy practice and the disposal of dead bodies.

Up till the third version of the MoH Guideline published on 27 March 2020, it was provided that a body related to death either confirmed (Category I) or suspected (Category II & III) of COVID-19, should be disposed within 24 hours (preferably within 12 hours) according to the guidance listed below:

• The body should never be washed under any circumstance.

• Cremation or burial is allowed. However, burial is allowed provided that all steps to prevent contact with body [are] ensured.

• The body has to be placed in an airtight sealed body bag and a sealed coffin.

• The grave should have a depth of 6 feet (deep burial). It should not contaminate with ground water.

• The grave should be identifiable and traceable.

• The disposal of bodies must be monitored by police, Ministry of Health and Public Health Inspector.

• The police and other government agencies must follow the legal aspect and their procedures.

However, on 31 March 2020, the Ministry of Health amended the Guideline and the fourth version with the amendments provided that a body related to death either confirmed (Category I) or suspected (Category II & III) of COVID-19, should be cremated within 24 hours (preferably within 12 hours) according to the guidance listed below:

• The body should never be washed under any circumstance.

• The body has to be placed in a sealed body bag and a coffin.

• Exclusive cremation.

• The disposal of bodies must be monitored by police, Ministry of Health and Public Health Inspector.

We understand that this fourth amendment of the MoH Guideline came following the cremation of a COVID-19 victim of a Muslim community on 31 March 2020 in Negombo, without consultation with and against the wishes of his family. We are concerned that the amendment is inconsistent with the Infection Prevention and Control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19 guideline provided by World Health Organisation (WHO Guideline). Furthermore, we are concerned of the lack of consideration provided and the lack of sensitivity in the MoH Guideline to different communities and their religious and cultural practices.

We recognize that the pandemic of COVID-19 has posed serious public health challenges and that there is a need to take various factors into consideration in making sure the spread of COVID-19 is contained. While the reasons for the decision of the Ministry of Health to make such amendment have not been communicated, and do not seem to have been decided with any consultation with the relevant communities, we would like to stress that the legitimacy for such amendments should be based on the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality and non-discrimination. Indeed, when cultural or religious sensitivities are involved, an inclusive and participatory dialogue or consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the civil society and different ethnic or religious communities must be conducted before a decision is taken. Such a participatory approach and clear communication to all stakeholders of the steps taken and the reasons for taking such steps, are also more likely to increase public confidence in such measures and minimise public disquiet over such restrictions.

In this regard we would like to bring specific attention to the following:

1. Method of the disposal of dead body- Under the section on Burial, WHO Guideline provides that people who have died from COVID-19 can be buried or cremated. Under the section on Burial by family members or for deaths at home, it further indicated that in contexts where mortuary services are not standard or reliably available, or where it is usual for ill people to die at home, families and traditional burial attendants can be equipped and educated to bury people under supervision. Besides, the WHO Guideline clearly outlined that one of the key considerations is to avoid hasty disposal of a dead from COVID-19.

2. Handling of the dead body- MoH Guideline instructed that the dead body should never be washed under any circumstance and that the body has to be placed in a sealed body bag and in coffin. WHO Guideline does not preclude that a person such as family member or religious leader can prepare the deceased that involved washing, cleaning or dressing body, tidying hair, trimming nails or shaving. It only instructed the necessary safety and health precautions to be taken when any person decided to do so according to their customs or religious rites. It also allows for cloth wrapping.

3. Viewing of body- WHO Guideline also provided that the family wishes only to view the body may do so, as long as the family is given clear instructions not to touch or kiss the body and to use standard precautions at all times. It was furthermore indicated that family and friends may view the body after it has been prepared for burial, in accordance with customs.

By contrast, the MoH Guideline allows the viewing of the body only by close relative/s in a pre-designated area in hospital and it forbids viewing after the body is sealed. Even with this provision in place, some family members of deceased allegedly did not get to see the body before the cremation took place. This has reportedly created a lot of stress to the deceased’s family.

4. Sensitivity to local, customary and religious practices – WHO Guideline has highlighted that the dignity of the dead, their cultural and religious traditions, and their families should be respected and protected throughout. It was advised the need to apply principles of cultural sensitivity or to handle the burial or dead body in accordance with customs while ensuring standard precautions are followed at all time.

We recommend that attention be given in the MoH Guideline to existing cultural and religious sensitivity or traditions in the country. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) protects everyone’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The Human Rights Committee in its General Comment 22 paragraph 4 advises that the freedom to manifest religion or belief may be exercised “either individually or in community with others and in public or private”. It elaborates that the freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching encompasses a broad range of acts and the concept of worship extends to ritual and ceremonial acts giving direct expression to belief, as well as various practices integral to such acts, including ritual formulae or ceremonial acts.

While the manifestation of religion or belief may be restricted as per Article 18(3) of the ICCPR, to protect public safety, order, health, morals and the fundamental rights and freedoms of others any such limitation must fulfil a number of obligatory criteria including being non-disriminatory in intent or effect and constituting the least restrictive measure. Even in the face of overwhelming public necessity that falls on one or more of the five grounds for permissble limitations noted in Article 18(3), if there is a less restrictive measure, a greater interfernce with the right to manifest one’s beliefs will not be permissible. Given that the WHO Guideline does not discard burial, albeit under specific conditions for the preparation of the body, as one of two means for the disposal of the body, prohibiting burial would not be permissible according to the ICCPR.

Article 27 of ICCPR provides that “In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.” The 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities also emphasised that persons belonging to minorities have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely, without any interference or any form of discrimination (article 2.1), and persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate effectively in cultural, religious, social, economic and public life (article 2.2). Moreover, States are required to ensure that persons belonging to minorities may exercise their human rights without discrimination and in full equality before the law (article 4.1) and create favourable conditions to enable persons belonging to minorities to express their characteristics and to develop their culture, language, religion, traditions and customs (article 4.2).

In conclusion, we would like to encourage your Excellency’s Government to reconsider the provisions in the MoH Guideline by taking into account of the key considerations provided by WHO Guideline for the disposal of the bodies of human beings deceased from the COVID-19, and revise the circular accordingly. In view of the challenges posed by the pandemic it is important that the Government avoids any unnecessary measures that are likely to raise tension and are running contrary to the respect of the fundamental human rights of the persons belonging to different communities that exist in Sri Lanka. Arbitrary decisions concerning the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 may also have the opposite effect to provoking the reluctance of families and communities to report COVID-19 cases in fear that they may be unable ensure proper funeral or burial rites for their loved ones. Ideally, such provisions should be revised in consultation with all the concerned ethnic and religious communities and other relevant health experts and stakeholders.

We respectfully reiterate the importance that the Government continues to uphold the right of freedom of religion or belief as well as the right of the minorities even during this challenging time. The protection of the privacy and identity of the patients or deceased without identifying their ethnicity or religious background in public would prevent their stigmatisation as individuals or member of a specific community.

We are taking the opportunity to stress that it is equally important that your Excellency’s Government firmly condemn any attempt by anyone, irrespective of status, to issue or spread hate messages that are of a nature to instigate ethnic or religious tensions or violence, including through accusations or blame that any particular ethnic or religious community is responsible for the pandemic of COVID-19.

The full texts of the human rights instruments and standards recalled above are available on www.ohchr.org or can be provided upon request.

As it is our responsibility, under the mandates provided to us by the Human Rights Council, to seek to clarify all cases brought to our attention, we would be grateful for your observations on the following matters:

1. Please provide any additional information and any comment you may have on the above-mentioned allegations and concerns.

2. Please provide the rationale for the decision to limit the method of the disposal of the dead bodies to cremation. Has any consultation been held with relevant health experts, civil society and community members in order to ensure that the decision to prohibit the burial of COVID-19 victims is non-discriminatory, necessary and proportionate to the objective pursued?

3. Please provide information if relevant personnel dealing with the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 have been trained or informed to ensure that the close family member of the deceased get to see the body before it is sealed and that they are informed of the cremation of the body well in advance.

4. Please indicate the measures undertaken to ensure that ethnic and religious minorities, are not discriminated against in the implementation of this MoH Guideline and that their right to freedom of religion or belief with regard to burial rites and practices is upheld and respected.

5. Please provide information on the steps taken to tackle potential rise in hate speech against Muslims and other ethnic or religious minorities in Sri Lanka, including by protecting the identity of the COVID-19 patients or deceased?

This communication, as a comment on pending or recently adopted legislation, regulations or policies, and any response received from your Excellency’s Government will be made public via the communications reporting website within 48 hours. They will also subsequently be made available in the usual report to be presented to the Human Rights Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of our highest consideration.

Ahmed Shaheed

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

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Latest comments

  • 20
    10

    Ofcourse it’s understandable when written by a Muslim. Sri Lanka is a country with a high density population and the majority are against burial of infected patients. As you may be aware even Christians state that there dead needs to be buried but in this situation no one made any comments as they were thinking about the 22 million people in this country. We should not adhere to any special religion or race but consider the sentiment of the people of this country. Also none would be present to help out if the virus spreads by the burial of these corpses. This is the first time that Easter and the Sinhala Tamil New Year was not celebrated in over 80 years. The consideration should be the people of the country and that is why this decision was made and a cabinet paper was raised. Being a democratic country the Govt is responsible for its people and their well being and currently the SL Govt is doing a lot for their people. I think that should be given priority.

    • 11
      5

      I think there is no question about the guidelines in compliance with WHO and the state, but what matters is the manner they the biased politicians continue with their abusive propaganda against muslim community. If everyone would have been treated with the same spoon, that is fine, but there should NOT be state backing to anti-muslim propaganda. Not a single word being used by both duo, though they are the leaders of the country today, that their friendly biased channels should not continue such public statements.

    • 1
      0

      I have a good proposal:

      Cremation to all with the condition

      That Rajapakshes should be stoned to death

      Or treated with Raw burn

      Then only anger could be died down. –

      I am sinhalaya but not a buddhagama-admirer.

  • 15
    14

    Just like the Christian god, Allah is a fake invention that does not exist. The Romans invented one while the rulers of Petra invented the other one. It is very hard/impossible to make the followers of either to realize these facts. But having said that there is ABSOLUTELY no medical reason other than an invented racist one to deny burial to Muslims. You cannot get infected from a dead body once it is buried.Since Muslim’s bury their dead within 24hours without embalming the chance of anyone catching COVID-19 from a deceased person as long as normal precautions are followed is unlikely to zero. That is the bottom line. In New York in the USA as well as other countries in Europe those who have died due to COVID-19 infection are being buried if the opportunity exits and a request is made from the family. In fact the unclaimed dead bodies of COVID-19 victims in NYC were bured in a mass grave. Gotler in his craven lust for power thinks he can get more votes from his disgustingly racist Sinhalese supporters by using this dog whistle.

  • 5
    16

    Hi All,
    Why UN not going to ask to do the same thing from Saudi king?
    Can you believe the WHO …? They already gave a permission to China to reopen the that disgusting Wild life market even Corona virus killing thousands of peoples all over the world. WHO boss is Ithiopian and now China control not only the Thoppiya but also WHO…?

    • 9
      2

      Why not u guys rethink, shoot the messenger as always u would do. ,,,can we an another poor hungry nation be compared with Saudi or Israelis? First we should be aware who we are. If not out begging bowl would not be filled how can we think of a tomorrow? Being squeezed by Rajapakse made loans to China and all. ?

    • 12
      3

      Dear brother, not only KSA also most of the European countries buried the bodies affected by covid 19. We must follow the UN guidelines. What’s the scientific evidence in order to cremation only. Could you tell that.

      • 1
        4

        Yes, best thing what the muslims cado is GET BACK TO THEIR ORIGINATION MUSLIM COUNTRIES SO THAT THEY CAN DO WHAT EVER THESE SOLEMN HEADED RACISTS MUSLIMS!!!

        • 1
          0

          This is a comment from an extremist and I am surprised you publish such content.

          For Sri Lanka to succeed it needs to respect all its citizens and not be dismissive of them for political gains. Otherwise it risks remaining on the list of failed and indebted impoverished states due the detriment of all its citizens.

      • 0
        0

        If the body goes straight to the cemetery, then there is no problem. The problem is what you will do with the corpse. You will take it home and start washing it to prepare for the burial. There lies the problem.

        Therefor straight to the crematorium is the only solution.

  • 5
    4

    I am for the rights of all religions. So, I do not want to buy into this except to reproduce what I read today:
    A medical professional in Thailand was infected with coronavirus while working with a corpse, apparently the first known case of the virus spreading from a dead body, according to letter in a medical journal.

    The medical professional, only identified as a “forensic practitioner” in Bangkok, died from coronavirus, said a letter published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.
    “According to our best knowledge, this is the first report on COVID-19 infection and death among medical personnel in a Forensic Medicine unit,” said the letter written by Won Sriwijitalai of the RVT Medical Center in Bangkok, and Viroj Wiwanitkit of Hainan Medical University in Haikou, China.

    I am not sure of the authenticity of this report. I got it from Webmed cite to which I subscribe for news about diabetes and other things.

  • 6
    2

    It is okay to release the bodies for burial according to their religious beliefs. But the problem lies, when they take the body home and perform the rituals. What is going to happen is they will take it out form the body bag and wash it according to the Koran, and that can lead to mass contamination. I saw that happening in Indonesia (as shown in Australian TV). Therefore the government should not release the bodies. Everybody should appreciate this is a pandemic and accept this is a grave situation. Poor countries like us cannot afford to let the current control get out of hand.

    • 0
      0

      You are exactly correct Ms Herath,these Illiterate and Swollen Headed Muslims think that they can CONTROL THE ENTIRE WORLD???
      Thats why I gave a message STATING TO ALL MUSLIMS TO GET BACK TO THEIR ORIGIN MUSLIM COUNTRIES!!!

  • 7
    7

    I thought by now, this would be finished. Anyway,

    Zaharan and the gang blew up 300 catholics and maimed 500, again catholics (Evangelists were caught just a mistake Zaharan did, stupid suicide Bomber was too scared to back with bombs packed backpack.) . UNITED NATIONS WERE SLEEP;ING. Only the NGOs were thinking about teaching a lesson to muslim and created some riots. Only a few parliamentary crooks photographed as they wanted to make a living out of that.
    Now, this Pandemic that is trying it’s best to kill almost whole world and is trying to help bankrupt countries with some much needed money. UNITED NATIONS IS NOT WORRIED ABOUT THAT, instead they are up in arms because three muslim dead bodies mutilated and disfigured when those cremated. WHAT HAPPENED ALMIGHTY COMPLAINED ABOUT IT SAYING, THESE GUYS ARE DUST AND I CAN NOT IDENTIFY WHETHER THOSE ARE BELIEVERS OR NOT.

  • 7
    5

    as a Christian I want burial from Christian dying from corona ,I have Buddhist friend he want take the bodies of all Buddhist dying from corona and held all religious ritual so will we also permitted to do that as Muslims

    • 1
      0

      Hi,

      Muslim do not ask for rituals but only burial U try to play a safe side game.

  • 3
    7

    I am suspicious about the title. What the title of this article says, let muslims do any dastardly act endangering all others in the country. Protect their human rights. Muslims look endangered because of these thing. Only three (50%) muslims died NGOs and UN are up in arms. They are grieving and mourning.

  • 8
    4

    When million of Muslim killed in Middle East over 20 yrs and UN was deep sleeping . now this man is talking human right for death bodies .un is a joke soon stop funding by usa them game over

  • 11
    2

    I support the burial if that is safe for majority of people in Sri Lanka uses water wells to get their daily water supply. I am sure in Sri Lanka only major towns has purified pipe borne water. But develop country and UN people have purified pipe borne water for their daily use.

    Now it has found that dead bodies can infect Corona. Therefore in Sri Lanka where water table is not very deep, until it is proven beyond any reasonable doubt that burial of dead bodies may not infect many Sri Lankans use water wells for their daily water requirement everyone should support cremation.
    World right now in crisis think about living then dead. Forget about politics. In Australia husband who was suffering from Corona was not allowed to pay last respect to the wife who died of Corona why our stupid people fight over nothing. Support President, government, Health services and armed services to resolve this crisis. I even support a military government to Discipline our people.

  • 8
    7

    Shame on u man. This has nothing to do with Muslim in Sri Lanka. Seem like u are holding wrong end of the stick. This has everything to do with corona virus. So rule of law at the moment in sri lanka is people who died because of virus will not buried. So stop crying man & behave like a responsible adult rather than making stupid remarks if u don’t live in my country Sri Lanka.This is my country so go make these rules where u come from.

    • 0
      0

      Every Srilankans must respect each others Religion.
      Without create a nother war.
      No more a nother China to help
      STOP & clean terrorist.

      talk like a grown-up adult.
      remember today We are minority
      tomorrow We are majority.
      No doubt.

      So better Srilanka Government
      immediate arrange Muslims to
      burial safe & support by gov.

      Hope you undestand.

    • 0
      0

      Hello,
      This country belongs to China.
      What are you talking.
      I guess you are out of your mind.
      You are the next target for corona virus.
      Be ready.

  • 6
    10

    Please honour our burial right

    • 0
      0

      correct

  • 2
    4

    Human beings are considered civilised because they respect their dead. We know that some animals cannibalise their dead.

  • 6
    6

    I said a few days ago in response to the IMF deferring the decision on the $1.5 Billion loan to Gotha that IMF wants to see who becomes PM. Gotha has given a clear signal that he is not going to tone down his Racist Rhetoric or actions and making the job of IMF easier. It is a timely intervention by God finally to have his say. It is obvius from the Racist comments that MR will get his 2/3rds majority . Sri Lankas future is no longer hanging in the balance but dead and burried.

  • 2
    2

    These UN people were sleeping when the Muslim Terrorists blew up 300 innocent people in this country. These so called UN people now try to create another issue on a non issue here. May be a few Muslim politicians here want this to be a issue for their political survival. We in Sri Lanka do not want to take any risk of spreading this deadly virus in this country. This UN person must remember the Buddhists also deprived of the religious rituals. But the UN man or women who wrote this has simply forgotten it.

  • 6
    1

    There is a proverb in Tamil ” You cannot straighten the dog’s tail” It applies to Gota & Co and his advisors When an international organization gives the guidelines it applies to all countries. Sri Lankan government is famous for violating international rules but wants money from the IMF and other organizations. I would become the singhala Buddhist voters for electing him. They will realize how it will affect Gota is a duplicate of Trump. He learned from him during 12-year life in the US. He learned how to be racists. He learned how not to react to the feelings of minorities. He learned how to use the military to do administration He learned to direct judiciary by release criminal who was sentenced to death. He learned to take revenge on opposition MP’s Now he and his family are manipulating the election date by making health mister make false statements. How can the county progress with such an ethnically biased president? More disaster will come to the island

  • 1
    1

    In Muslim understanding, it is a great thing even to kill a person from another religion because you are protecting Islam. Under this belief Muslims do not mind spreading Corona to other people because it is done with the faith of their God. Therefore Muslim people need to understand the importance of following Sri Lankan Government rules, because Sri Lanka is currently controlling the spread due to the strict regulation with all military personal are involved. Rather than accusing, Muslims should thank SL President for his excellent management of the situation.

  • 3
    1

    Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief!
    The name tells it all!
    I mean, the reason for his concern only about minorities in Sri Lanka, obviously Muslims, when MoH guidelines apply to the majority Buddhists, too.
    Shaheed should accept the fact that the Coronavirus has changed funeral rituals for many religions.
    For example, Buddhists are not allowed to conduct personalized funeral ceremonies for COVID-19 victims. As Buddhists believe in rebirth, the inability to conduct “transference of merit” is a great pain to the loved ones of the deceased.
    Although, Muslims and Hindus keep dead bodies only 24-hours, Buddhists keep embalmed bodies upto 3 days for viewing, which is significant in Buddhism to remind the uncertainty of life. Unfortunately, Coronavirus has denied Buddhists, too, the right for funeral ceremonies and burials.
    WHO’s interim-guidelines issued on 24 March 2020 based on “current evidence” pertaining to those who died of COVID-19, says, “dead bodies are generally not infectious” (please refer to Key Considerations), implying that once the body is dead, the Coronavirus in the body will also die.
    However, in the same guidelines, under Funeral Home/Mortuary Care, WHO instructs the Healthcare Workers to “give the family clear instructions NOT to touch or kiss the body” and “maintain social distancing”, directly contradicting their previous assumption that “dead bodies are generally not infectious.”
    Taking into consideration the WHO guidelines seriously, and the fact that new scientific evidence may emerge to the worse, as a precautionary measure, the MoH has decided to make cremation compulsory.
    Buddhists, who make up 70.1% of the population have agreed to abide by MoH guidelines, without a question.
    Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur should ask Muslims in Sri Lanka, who are only 9.7% of the population, as to why they cannot do the same.

  • 3
    2

    No doubt Ahemad Shahid is angry. He should not interfere into Sri Lanka. One country One Law to every one in Sri Lanka.
    There is no surprise Ahemad Shaid being a muslim is angry and he had exceeded his capacity. If SO LET HIM TELL US WHY HE IS NOT MAKING ANY COMMENTS REGARDS TO THE BUDDHISTS IN CHITTAGONG WHO ARE BEING TORTURED BY MUSLIMS IN HIS OWN COUNTRY BANGLADEHS

  • 2
    1

    whith all due respect for the Muslim community and every who believes in Islam . I think at a time like this where the government is trying to do its best to control this infectious and deadly virus the religious beliefs should be practical . If a corpse is released and the relatives or who ever cleans it might get the virus in to their bodies . if the virus can survive couple of hours on plastic and stainless steel why not on a dead body. The WHO has given guide lines that is true but they royally screwed up initially issuing a press release about the travel for Chinese nationals. Also Our Government has never discriminated any minority up to now (I have never heard) I think Sri lanka is an independent country therefore the presidant of Sri Lanka and the government should decide what is best for us and our citizens . not a chair wamer at the UN . all these people are dictating terms to countries like us why not go to Presidant Donald Trump and ask him to remove the ban on Muslims entering the USA

  • 1
    2

    I urge President to suspend all quarantine work in muslim areas let the buggers go to hell with covid-19 and eat or berry the bodies just look other way stop spending publi funds for mulim buggers let thempay

  • 1
    1

    I urge President to suspend all quarantine work in muslim areas let the buggers go to hell with covid-19 and eat or berry the bodies just look other way and stop spending public funds for muslim buggers let them pay for medications and treatments

  • 3
    0

    Relatives of deceased in Sri lanka should be happy to at least see victims body in a sealed bag. here in USA relatives only see their loved once once they drop off the hospital. Dead bodies are burred in mass grave. Why UN does not see that as a problem. UN and WHO only imposes law to poor countries. WHO is covering up China. Why should we listen to them, they can only suggest and cannot impose law in any country. WHO should stay away from politics and mind own bisiness

    • 1
      0

      Lal Kumara,

      wITH increasing number of the dead – in US, there may be the kind of mass burials, but I really dont think that they would treat the dead peity less to the manner srilanken govt is made to do.
      We perfectly know – sofar they have been promoting an anti-muslim campaign calling every muslim as ” thambiyas” and they have been the problem in CORONA control.
      But statistics proved that over 20 000 or more were arrested and taken to custody were not muslims. Even today, there are whole lot of thousands being taken to custody, being violated to CURFEW – about which nobody is talking … since the black out of media is the ground reality with greater space being given to TWO ABUSIVE channels, that play housanna to RAJAPAKSHES – THAT ARE MELCHCHA leaders that our country ever produced.
      pEOPLE thought a greater difference from RASCAL NATURE to a society builder, that would base on LAW AND ORDER.. but what became is a JUNTA govt, headed by a teenager politician whose brother seems to be keeping him under his servility.

  • 0
    0

    IF THE GOVERNMENT IS UNABLE TO GUARANTEE MUSLIMS THEIR RIGHT FOR BURIAL, THEN MUSLIMS ARE NOT OBLIGED TO CO-OPERATE WITH THE GOVERNMENT IN MANY ASPECTS OF THE ANTI VIRUS INITIATIVES. PERIOD.

  • 0
    0

    If every dead body is being cremated where is the discrimination?
    How long the virus remains infectious on the body could change just like the original advice regarding the social distancing limit of 1 meter which became more than 2 meters following MIT research. A sneeze could spread it 27 feet it has been found. This is novel Covid19 and being novel our knowledge is still evolving.So it is wise to cover all possibilities and create because over 57 degrees C virus is dead!

  • 0
    0

    I wonder how many Sinhalese are really Buddhists who preach and practice what Buddha taught . I see from comments that many of them are racists and the minority of non racists Sinhalese are helpless when racists raise their ugly heads and control events.

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    mind your own Religion.
    Dont try to spread corona inside Srilanka.

    let the Government do the Muslims
    burials.

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    mind your own Religion.
    Dont try to spread corona inside Srilanka.

    let the Government do the Muslims
    burials.

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    WHO has not done anything to contain this pandemic. Mr Donald Trump did the right thing in holding the funds for WHO. they should concentrate on finding a vaccination for this deadly virus than intervening in relatively arguable issues. it is really stupid to say Muslims will not report to medical care if their dead bodies are not buried. we all are trying/fighting to stay alive. there is no doubt at all. if our medical experts are thinking that the cremation is the best option to be zero risk then it should be done. it is a civic duty to forget about our differences and do the absolutely safe thing. The cremation will eradicate unnecessary doubt among vast majority of the Srilankan. that is the bitter truth.

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