Although the Islamic world has welcomed the decision by the Sri Lankan government to permit the burial of Muslim victims of Covid 19, in practice no bodies of the victims who follow the religion have been released for burial, civil society leaders say.
Hilmy Ahamed Vice-Chair of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka says none of the remains of Muslims who have passed away from the Covid 19 virus has been released for burial and the bodies are in the mortuary freezers.
“They are saying that the bodies have to be buried in designated burial sites which are yet to be identified,” he said.
Our calls to the Director-General of Health Services regarding this issue have not been returned. A statement released to Media via the pro-government news outlets Hiru and Adaderana said that the DGHS would be taking a decision with regard to the issue on Monday.
In the meantime, Islamic countries supported Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Friday after the Gazetting of the permission for burial, an issue that was raised by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference at the UNHRC sessions which discussed Sri Lanka on Thursday.
The Standard Operating Procedures for the burial of the Covid 19 victims as stipulated by the Prof Jennifer Perera Committee which was appointed by the Ministry of Health in December and submitted its recommendations on the 28th of that month, is yet to be drafted.
“Our battle for justice is still to be won,” Ahamed told EconomyNext.
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana