Sri Lanka has introduced a ban on all types of face coverings including Burqas to ensure public safety. The order is to be enforced from today, as per reports.
As per reports, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has approved the ban and issued a presidential decree stating that all forms of face covering, including the Burqa, will be completely prohibited from Monday.
The decision comes a week after major terrorist bomb blasts had ripped through the capital city Colombo and surrounding areas, killing over 300 people and injuring more than 500.
As per reports, the official press release of the presidential decree read, “Any form of face covering that will hinder the identification of a person is banned under emergency regulations.”
The move was reportedly first proposed as a private member’s bill in the Sri Lankan parliament by MP Ashu Marasinghe who had sought a motion to ban the Burqa stating that it is not a traditional Muslim garment and it should be banned on security grounds.
Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency after the deadly attacks on Easter Sunday by an ISIS supported organisation. Wide-scale crackdown on radical groups is going on in the country. It was reported that the local terrorist group National Thowheed Jama’ath had carried out the attacks that primarily targeted Churches and hotels. Later, ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Previously, a prominent Muslim organisation All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama had issued a directive to all Muslims, especially women to stop covering their faces so the security forces are not hindered “in their efforts to maintain national security”.
There were also reports that PM Ranil Wickremasinghe was to oppose the ban on face coverings. He has, however, reportedly denied the claims and said that he will discuss the ban with the minister of justice.
The Sri Lankan government had admitted that there was major security failure on the part of the government and they had received prior warnings from intelligence agencies that such attacked would take place. Reports have stated that the Indian RAW had warned of possible terrorist attacks to the Sri Lankan government.