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Sri Lanka Minister Sarath Weerasekera Says Country Will Soon Burqa, Shut Many Islamic Schools

Colombo:

Sri Lanka will ban the wearing of the burqa and shut more than a thousand Islamic schools, a government minister stated on Saturday, the newest actions affecting the country’s minority Muslim population.

Minister for public safety Sarath Weerasekera told a news conference he had signed a paper on Friday for cabinet approval to ban the complete face covering worn by some Muslim girls on “national security” grounds.



“In our early days Muslim women and girls never wore the burqa,” he stated. “It is a sign of religious extremism that came about recently. We are definitely going to ban it.”



The wearing of the burqa in the majority-Buddhist nation was temporarily banned in 2019 immediately after the bombing of churches and hotels by Islamic militants that killed more than 250.

Later that year, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, greatest recognized for crushing a decades-lengthy insurgency in the north of the nation as defence secretary, was elected president immediately after promising a crackdown on extremism.

Rajapaksa is accused of widespread rights abuses throughout the war, charges he denies.

Weerasekera stated the government plans to ban more than a thousand madrassa Islamic schools that he stated had been flouting national education policy.

“Nobody can open a school and teach whatever you want to the children,” he stated.

The government’s moves on burqas and schools stick to an order final year mandating the cremation of COVID-19 victims – against the wishes of Muslims, who bury their dead.

This ban was lifted earlier this year immediately after criticism from the United States and international rights groups.

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