Reports The protests erupted after the Sri Lankan government rejected international requests to overturn the decision and banned the burial of virus victims.
Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority has protested in Colombo when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan paid an official visit to demand an end to the forced disgrace of Code 19 victims.
Dozens of Muslims raised a mock “funeral” or coffin, condemning the Sri Lankan government for banning the burial of the virus victims, ignoring their funeral rites.
The demonstration was aimed at Khan’s visit, which two weeks ago highlighted the plight of Muslims in Sri Lanka.
Khan had welcomed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement on February 10 that burial would be allowed, but a day later Colombo stepped back and said there would be no change in the policy of final disgrace alone.
“Respect the Prime Minister’s statement and allow the burial,” a banner raised by protesters gathered in an open space in front of President Gotabha Rajapaksa’s office.
His government has rejected international requests and recommendations from its own experts to allow Muslims to bury their dead in accordance with Islamic custom.
Influential Buddhist monks – amid fears the government banned burials for the first time in April – have said experts say burying bodies could contaminate groundwater and spread the virus.
The World Health Organization says there is no such threat, recommending both burial and final disgrace for those infected with the virus.
Traditionally, Muslims bury their dead in Mecca. Sri Lanka’s majority Buddhists, who are strong supporters of the current government, are usually buried, as are Hindus.
In December, authorities forcibly removed the bodies of at least 19 Muslim victims, including 19 children, after their families refused to claim their bodies from a hospital morgue. Ordered to forcibly disgrace the last.
The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has repeatedly expressed concern, angering the Muslim community, moderates and the Muslim community abroad.
Tensions between Muslims and the majority Sinhalese have continued since the deadly Easter bombings in 2019 by local militants.
Muslim community leaders say more than 450 of the victims of Kovid 19 were from the Muslim minority, which makes up only 10 percent of the 21 million population.
He says an disproportionate number of Muslims are dying because they do not seek treatment, fearing that if they are diagnosed with the virus, their last rites will be performed.