Sri Lanka to ban burqa, shut many Islamic schools, Minister for public security says

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Sri Lanka will ban the sporting of the burqa and shut greater than a thousand Islamic faculties, a authorities minister mentioned on Saturday, the most recent actions affecting the nation’s minority Muslim inhabitants.

Minister for public security Sarath Weerasekera advised a information convention he had signed a paper on Friday for cupboard approval to ban the total face masking worn by some Muslim girls on “national security” grounds.

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

The sporting of the burqa within the majority-Buddhist nation was briefly banned in 2019 after the bombing of church buildings and resorts by Islamic militants that killed greater than 250.

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

Rajapaksa is accused of widespread rights abuses throughout the conflict, expenses he denies.

Weerasekera mentioned the federal government plans to ban greater than a thousand madrassa Islamic faculties that he mentioned have been flouting nationwide training coverage.

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

The authorities’s strikes on burqas and faculties observe an order final yr mandating the cremation of COVID-19 victims – in opposition to the needs of Muslims, who bury their lifeless.

This ban was lifted earlier this yr after criticism from the United States and worldwide rights teams.

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