Lankan Muslims annoyed over decision on cremation of dead bodies

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 07:42, Apr 13, 2020 | Updated : 07:45, Apr 13, 2020

Muslims in Sri Lanka have expressed their resentment over a gazette notification on cremation of all corpses died of coronavirus.

The gazette ignored the recent World Health Organistaion guidelines that burial of a patient who has died of coronavirus is also possible and it would not create any health hazard.

Issued on April 11, the gazette stipulated that a dead body must be completely burnt at 800 degree to 1,200 degree Celsius temperature for 45 minutes to one hour to prevent any ‘potential biological threat’.

Sri Lanka issues gazette on cremation of dead bodies

It also said the dead body would be handed over to the persons who would undertake the necessary duties of cremation.

Till Sunday, several dead bodies of Muslims died of Covid19 were cremated and the Buddhist-majority Lankan government had refused request from the community to reconsider the decision.   

Lankan Muslim leaders cited the WHO guidelines which allowed both - burial and cremation – during epidemic situation.

Famous Lankan lawyer Ali Sabry in a facebook post expressed his disappointment over the decision and wrote cremation is not allowed in islam and WHO did not find any hazard in burial of dead body.

Cremation is prohibited in Islam and Jewish religions. According to latest statistics, over 200 Lankans are affected by Covid19 and seven were died and at least three of them are Muslims.

Vice President of Muslim Council of Sri Lanka Hilmy Ahamed recently told Al Jazeera that the community found the decision as a ‘racist agenda’ of extreme Buddhist forces and European countries including Britain, Singpaore, Hong Kong and all other countries are following the WHO guidelines except Sri Lanka.

Not only the Muslim community, international organization like Amnesty International has also urged the Lankan authorities to respect the right of religious minorities to carry out the final rites according to their own traditions.

Muslims account for 10 percent of 21 million population in Sri Lanka.

When asked about the situation, Bangladesh mission there said they are closely monitoring the situation.