Sri Lanka Cabinet Bans All Forms Of Face Veils Including Burqa, Cites National Security Concerns

Sri Lanka Cabinet Bans All Forms Of Face Veils Including Burqa, Cites National Security ConcernsA burqa-clad woman. (Representative image) 

Amid crackdown on Islamic extremists in Sri Lanka, the cabinet of the island nation on Tuesday (27 April) cleared a proposal to ban all forms of face veils in public places citing national security concerns.

“The Cabinet has approved the proposal, it will now go to the legal draftsmen and then be brought to parliament,” cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told the weekly media conference.

Reacting to the development, Pakistani envoy in Colombo in a tweet said the ban “will only serve as injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe”.

Following the Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019 too, Sri Lanka used emergency regulations to temporarily ban the burqa, reports The Hindu.

Recently on 24 April, Sri Lankan police arrested a top Muslim leader and a member of parliament. The arrested MP, Rishad Bathiudeen who is a leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Party. Police took him and his brother Riyaaj into custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Sri Lanka also banned 11 hardline Islamist organisations, including the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, for their links to extremist activities. 279 people were killed and at least 500 injured in the Easter bombings on 21 April 2019.

This proscription of Islamist terror group and arrests of key suspects has come amid the second anniversary of the 2019 Easter bombings.